German Bundesrat adopts revised LNG Acceleration Act

German legislative body Bundesrat has approved the revised act to accelerate the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG Acceleration Act) to include forward-looking rules on energy supply and specify practical provisions on the sustainable, climate-neutral retrofitting of LNG terminals.

Archive; Courtesy of Deutsche ReGas

The previous version of the act had already contained a provision that the operation of terminals with LNG can be authorized only until 31 December 2043 and that the subsequent operation will be permitted only for climate-neutral hydrogen and its derivatives, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action said, noting that the new requirements ensure that the subsequent use of these terminals for hydrogen and its derivatives is enshrined in the legislation on authorizations.

The Ministry said the goal is to ensure the continued use of this permanent LNG infrastructure by providing for a climate-neutral alternative early on, at the latest by the 31 December 2043 deadline, for the relevant approval.

The revised act includes provisions to further ensure the feed-in of LNG at the sites on the German coast and to further step up preparatory measures, the Ministry informed. To this end, the annex to the act comprising the list of project sites has been updated. According to the Ministry, Mukran, a designated commercial and industrial zone, has been added to the act’s project list, with the intention to move the FSRU currently based in the port of Lubmin across to Mukran so that there will still be an FSRU on the Baltic coast.

To note, prior to the Bundesrat’s approval, the Bundestag had adopted the amended Federal Government’s draft legislation, where it has been expressly stipulated that FSRUs will be replaced by permanent land-based LNG terminals as soon as their operation is secured.

The Ministry also informed that whilst operators of land-based LNG terminals currently need to show that they can operate on the basis of ammonia, from 2035 they can apply to operate using hydrogen or another hydrogen derivative.

Furthermore, a provision to facilitate the designation of land for use by wind energy by municipalities has been included in the act to implement the decisions taken by the coalition committee, and it will enter into force six months after its announcement, the Ministry noted.

After the adoption by the Bundesrat, the revised LNG Acceleration Act can enter into force next week.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck commented: “We are pursuing two goals by amending the LNG Acceleration Act. Firstly, the amendment substantially contributes to securing the energy supply, not least in the coming winter. At the same time, proof of ‘green readiness’ needs to be provided for land-based LNG terminals during the authorization procedure. This is to ensure that investments are made in a sustainable manner and that investors will be able to convert the facilities from LNG to hydrogen.”

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