Photo: Courtesy of German LNG Terminal

Gasunie to start German LNG Terminal construction

Dutch gas infrastructure company Gasunie and the German state-owned bank KfW have signed a deal to start the construction of the German LNG Terminal in Brunsbüttel.

Gasunie and KfW to start German LNG Terminal construction
Courtesy of German LNG Terminal

Gasunie LNG, Vopak LNG, and Oiltanking formed the German LNG Terminal as a joint venture. The plan was to build and operate an LNG terminal at the Brunsbüttel, Northern Germany.

The project specifically includes:

  • A jetty with two berths for vessels up to Q-Max size;
  • Facilities for the distribution of LNG by tankers, railway tanker wagons, and smaller vessels.

The terminal will serve the import and onward distribution of LNG. It will have two LNG tanks with a capacity of 165,000 cubic metres each and an LNG regasification plant.

Its annual regasification capacity of 8 billion cubic metres is to provide a possibility to import gas directly to the German market. In this way, the project will improve Germany’s energy security.

In view of the current political situation, the management of the German LNG Terminal on the one hand and the German Federal Government on the other agreed on key points for further.

On 4 March 2022, Gasunie and KfW signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to take the project into the next phase. This includes starting the joint construction of the LNG terminal.

In addition, KfW will join the project as a shareholder.

Going forward, the intention will be to refit the terminal so that it can process green hydrogen derivatives like ammonia. 

The current shareholders have agreed that Gasunie is the best partner for the German government to complete the terminal project quickly and successfully. This is to ensure a stable energy supply with gas and enhance the security of supply in Germany.

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Vopak and Oiltanking leaving German LNG Terminal JV

Having worked together to build up the company, Vopak LNG and Oiltanking will leave the group of shareholders ultimately by May 2022.

Kees van Seventer, president of Vopak LNG, and René Anghel, CFO of Oiltanking, issued a joint statement.

“The state participation and the leadership of Gasunie enable the necessary accelerated realization of the terminal. It is in the interest of securing the energy supply of Northwest Europe. The framework including commercial conditions of this state participation and a private ownership are different and so Vopak and Oiltanking have decided not to participate further in the implementation of the project.”

In addition, the former joint managing director Philipp Kroepels will return to Oiltanking. Michael Kleemiß will remain managing director.

Both the shareholders and the management reaffirmed their intention to move the terminal project forward quickly. The planning approval process, which was started last year, is being moved ahead at full speed. Moreover, the consortium of the general contractor Cobra/Sener will be commissioned to start the preparatory work immediately.

Minister Robert Habeck said: “It is absolutely clear that we need to make our energy supply climate-neutral, to rigorously cut our gas consumption, and to press ahead with the expansion of renewables and the production of hydrogen. But we will need gas during the transition. Here, we need to reduce our dependence on imports from Russia as quickly as possible; Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine is now making this imperative. An LNG terminal in Brunsbüttel will increase the possibilities to import gas to Germany. LNG terminals could be described as an extra by-pass for this. They help us to boost energy security in Germany and Europe.”