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Germany signs deal with RWE and Uniper to supply two floating LNG terminals

16 August 2022

Germany signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on August 16with energy companies RWE and Uniper to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) through two new floating gas terminals. Germany is desperate to finds ways to reduce its reliance on Russian gas and make itself less susceptible to blackmail, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said.

Wilhelmshaven - Image: WIkimedia/Olga Ernst
Wilhelmshaven - Image: WIkimedia/Olga Ernst

The MoU will see RWE and Uniper operate Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRU) in Brunsbuettel and Wilhelmshaven, for the “temporary supply” of LNG. The companies will work with EnBW and VNG to purchase the LNG.

The development of the FSRUs is seen as an essential move by Germany in order to increase imports of LNG after Russia restricted gas flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. The key pipeline usually supplies around 55 billion cubic metres (bcm) a year of LNG to Europe, however it has been running at just 20% capacity in recent weeks. Russia has blamed maintenance and faulty equipment for the reduced flows, while European countries have said Russia is purposefully restricting gas in response to sanctions imposed on it as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.

Economy Minister Robert Habeck told reporters that the two FSRUs will be able to receive LNG for the winter with Germany in talks with Qatar to develop supply channels. The Brunsbuettel FSRU is expected to be up and running by 2023, RWE has said. Construction of the Wilhelmshaven terminal is already underway, with Uniper expecting it to be operational by winter.Together, the FSRUs will enable Germany to receive up to 12.5 bcm of LNG a year.

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