By Muhammad Sudhir Chaudhry
BERLIN: The first ship designed to convert liquefied natural gas (LNG) back to gaseous state has arrived in Germany, Deutsche ReGas, the company developing the country’s Baltic Sea LNG terminal, announced. The specialised ship – a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) – arrived at the island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea for a stopover before continuing to the industrial port of Lubmin. There, its draught will be reduced from 9.6 to 5.2 metres and a pipeline adapter will be installed to fit the onshore German system. The LNG import terminal for the FSRU “Neptune” is will have an annual capacity of 4.5 billion cubic metres (bcm). From a technical standpoint, it could be in operation by 1 December, according to the company. “All the necessary components are now in the region to technically complete the LNG terminal shortly. Of course, commissioning can only take place once all the necessary permits have been obtained,” ReGas chairman Stephan Knabe said. Objections can still be submitted to the Mecklenburg-Western Pome rania state environment office until 28 November, newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine reports.
In addition to the privately developed project, Germany plans to lease five FSRUs in the short term, and later one or more fixed onshore terminals. Construction of the first government-financed jetty for receiving LNG was completed on 15 November, with its FSRU set to arrive in mid-December. The first LNG delivery is scheduled for mid-January 2023. “This is a central building block for securing our energy supply in the coming winter,” economy minister Robert Habeck said following the announcement of the completion of construction. The war in Ukraine has forced Germany to diversify gas supply away from Russian deliveries . Germany has a well-developed natural gas pipeline grid and is connected to import terminals in neighbouring countries, but does not currently have its own port to receive LNG directly. Climate activists have criticised Germany’s plans to directly import LNG, with Greenpeace saying it puts the country’s — and Europe’s — climate targets at risk.