RWE Says It Has No Interest in Operating LNG Infrastructure Long-Term

(Reuters) — Germany's RWE said on Friday it had no interest in operating infrastructure for importing LNG in the long run, responding to a report saying it wanted to pull out of a controversial LNG project in the Baltic Sea.

The comments came in response to a report by magazine Der Spiegel saying RWE had informed Germany's Economy Ministry of its intention to withdraw from a planned LNG project that could be located off the coast of Ruegen, a small German island.

Plans to locate a floating LNG import terminal there have drawn opposition from local politicians and environmental groups, fearing Ruegen's status as a tourist destination could suffer.

"We are only involved in the project as a service provider for the Federal Government," RWE said in e-mailed comments, adding it would be of service if needed.

The company has already chartered two so called floating storage and regasification units (FSRU) on behalf of the government at the height of the European energy crisis, triggered by Russia's move to stop gas supplies to Germany.

"We had already made it clear ... that we do not want to operate LNG infrastructure on a permanent basis and that we expect to hand over these activities to other players in the foreseeable future," RWE said.

"Our position is therefore not new and of course also known to the Federal Ministry of Economics."

A spokesperson for the Economy Ministry said discussions between the government and the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern were ongoing, adding it was important that a firm decision on the location was made soon.

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