DUH takes legal action against LNG terminal in Lubmin

The German Environmental Aid (Deutsche Umwelthilfe – DUH) has filed a lawsuit against the operation of the LNG terminal ship Neptune in Lubmin on the Baltic Sea as it considers it illegal.

FSRU Neptune; Archive; Courtesy of Hoegh LNG

With the lawsuit at the Federal Administrative Court, the DUH is demanding that Deutsche ReGas revoke the license granted by the State Office for Agriculture and the Environment in Western Pomerania for the operation of the terminal.

According to DUH, the approval suffers from significant shortcomings. It said that neither the shuttle traffic, which is necessary for landing on the terminal ship, nor the resulting environmental impact on the Greifswalder Bodden has been subject to environmental permits. It further claimed that significant parts were simply ignored in the approval process.

DUH stated: “The noise pollution from the terminal is actually fundamentally different from what the operator stated in the approval process. Contrary to other announcements made by Deutsche ReGas during the approval process, the contribution to the security of supply is actually marginal.”

“The LNG Acceleration Act stipulates that environmental impact assessments may only be suspended if a new terminal can make a ‘relevant contribution’ to the security of supply, according to the law of a minimum capacity of five billion cubic meters.”

In this regard, DUH claimed that Neptune does not meet the requirements and an environmental impact assessment would have been necessary.

Sascha Müller-Kraenner, Federal Managing Director of DUH, commented: “Essential aspects such as shuttle traffic and noise pollution were ignored in the approval process for the LNG terminal ship Neptune. The approval must therefore be withdrawn. What is currently happening in Lubmin and what has been approved are two different things.”

“We also criticize the federal government for its claim that the LNG terminal ship in Lubmin is necessary as long as the controversial LNG terminal in Rügen does not exist. In doing so, it describes constraints that do not exist at all given the supply situation and plays the local people off against each other.”

To remind, the LNG floating terminal ship Neptune has been in the industrial port of Lubmin since December 2022 and has been in operation since January 2023.

DUH said that because the water in front of Lubmin is too shallow for the huge tankers that bring the LNG, they deliver their cargo to a tanker that is in front of Rügen, and from there, the tankers, accompanied by tugboats, bring the LNG to Lubmin. In doing so, DUH claimed, they produce pollutants that end up in the sea and coastal areas.

It further stated: “The regasification capacity of the ship was given as 3.6 billion cubic meters per year in the approval process, and only through a storage capacity of shuttle ships was then given an alleged contribution of over 5 billion cubic meters. In fact, ReGas only imported 7 terawatt hours in the entire first half of 2023, which would only correspond to around 0.7 billion cubic meters per year.”

“In the opinion of DUH, it is hardly understandable that these actually extremely small import quantities were not known during the approval process. Thus, there should not have been an exemption within the meaning of the LNG Acceleration Act for the fossil project.”


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