Germany – In Wilhelmshaven, the nation’s first floating terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports has been formally put into operation.
Even before Christmas, LNG will be re-gasified and sent to the German long-distance gas system via the recently constructed Wilhelmshavener Anbindungsleitung (WAL). To make this possible, the Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU), represented by the “Höegh Esperanza” vessel of the Norwegian business Höegh LNG, arrived at the Umschlaganlage Vosslapper Groden (Cargo Handling Facility Vosslapper Groden/UVG) two days earlier.
At least five billion cubic meters of natural gas per year are anticipated to be imported and fed into the German long-distance gas infrastructure through the Wilhelmshaven LNG Terminal. This accounts for about 6% of German gas usage. Accordingly, this volume will replace about 11% of Germany’s purchases of Russian gas.
The official opening was attended by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Niedersächsische Prime Minister Stephan Weil, German Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck, and Federal Minister of Finance Christian Lindner.
Olaf Lies, Niedersachsen’s Minister for Economic Affairs, and Christian Meyer, its Minister for Environment and Energy, are also attending, along with other officials from the state, the city, and the surrounding areas. The Wilhelmshaven Connector Pipeline (WAL) and the Import Terminal were built on the North Sea shore by the three companies Niedersachsen Ports, OGE, and Uniper in record time over the course of the previous ten months. The companies’ project teams are now being welcomed aboard the LNG ferry MS “Helgoland.”
The brief period of time since March 2022 seen the following significant events: Several approval documents were prepared in the spring, construction began on May 5 with the first pile-driver blow, the FSRU was chartered in July, work began in August and pipes for the connection pipeline were laid, the finished port jetty was turned over in November, the WAL was connected to the long-distance gas grid, and the MV “Höegh Esperanza” arrived on schedule, to name a few.