German Parliament Backs Fast-Track Plans for LNG Terminals

(Reuters) — Germany's lower house of parliament on Friday passed a legal reform to speed up the construction of LNG terminals off the Baltic Sea coast, defying resistance from local governments and environmental groups.

Germany started accelerating the construction of LNG infrastructure last year following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine that led to a sudden drop in piped Russian gas imports to Europe's biggest economy.

The reform voted through on Friday includes fast-tracking the construction of two LNG floating terminals in Mukran on the Baltic Sea island of Ruegen with an annual capacity of 10 billion cubic meters (Bcm) to be operated privately by Deutsche Regas by the beginning of 2024.

Some 370 parliamentarians voted in favor, 301 opposed and four abstained.

Local municipalities, the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and several environmental groups have said the project would harm tourism and marine life.

The DUH environmental group said it would have a profound and irreparable impact on threatened marine mammals, resting and migratory birds and fish migration routes.

Although project developer Gascade applied for a 50-km (31-mile) pipeline in several individual sections to mitigate the environmental impact, the DUH said the terminal would be a catastrophe for marine life.

Germany already has floating LNG terminals in operation at Wilhelmshaven, Brunsbuettel and Lubmin. Two of those sites will be expanded.

Two permanent terminals in Stade and Brunsbuettel and a privately operated one in Wilhelmshaven are to replace some of the floating stations from 2026, resulting in higher capacity.

Environmental groups say Germany's planned terminals would create over-capacity in excess of domestic demand. The government says the terminals would ease pressure on other European ports and help to supply neighboring countries.

Economy Minister Robert Habeck on Friday said the Ruegen project was controversial, but that Germany needed to ensure security of supply.

"We're not done yet," Habeck said in an address to the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag.

($1 = 0.9193 euros)

Related News


{{ error }}
{{ comment.comment.Name }} • {{ comment.timeAgo }}
{{ comment.comment.Text }}