Germany’s LNG terminal operator turns to KN Energies for work at Wilhelmshaven 2

Lithuanian liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals’ operator KN Energies (KN), former Klaipedos Nafta, has widened its footprint in Germany with its first deal to provide technical operation and maintenance services to an LNG terminal in the country, which was inked with Deutsche Energy Terminal GmbH (DET), the state-owned operator of four terminals in Germany.

FSRU Excelsior; Source: Excelerate

After the Ukraine crisis hit, Germany took steps to bolster its energy security and close the supply gap with its LNG Acceleration Law, passed in May 2022. Thanks to the new contract, signed at the beginning of May 2024, KN Energies will carry out for DET the preparatory work for the technical operation of the Wilhelmshaven 2 LNG terminal by setting up an operational company in Germany, a well-trained engineering team, and preparing the terminal’s technical operating documentation.

Furthermore, this agreement for the preparatory phase has been concluded until the start of commercial operations and for five years of operational phase with a possibility to extend the contract, drawing on KN Energies’ experience in the technical and commercial operations of the LNG terminal operating in the Brazilian port of Açu to provide the on-site team in Germany with training and necessary operational knowledge, while the LNG competence center in Lithuania will support the operations.

Once commercial operations of the terminal start, the Lithuania-based firm will be in charge of the technical operations and maintenance of the terminal’s infrastructure – the jetty, which Van Oord is responsible for constructing, its equipment, and the pipeline, organizing the work of the on-site team, as well as the coordination of preventive and corrective actions.

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While KN Energies kicked off the year by winning a public tender for the commercial services for DET’s four LNG terminals on the German North Sea coast, the latest deal is said to mark the first time the company will provide technical operation and maintenance services to an LNG terminal in Germany, with the expected annual turnover of the services having the potential to reach up to 5% of the firm’s annual revenue.

Dr Peter Röttgen, Managing Director of DET, remarked:  “We are pleased to have found an experienced service provider for operations and maintenance at our Wilhelmshaven 2 site, with whom we already have a good cooperation. This enables good synergies within our project for the security of supply in Germany and Europe.”

Moreover, the second Wilhelmshaven LNG terminal, currently under construction, will be served by the floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) Excelsior, owned by the U.S.-based Excelerate Energy. With an LNG storage capacity of 138,000 cubic meters, this FSRU has an annual nameplate regasification capacity of 5 billion cubic meters of natural gas. The LNG terminal is scheduled to begin commercial operations in the second half of 2024.

DET, part of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, operates four LNG terminals on the German North Sea coast, including Wilhelmshaven 1, Brunsbüttel, Wilhelmshaven 2, and Stade. The last two are both currently under construction. The country’s first floating terminal for importing LNG in Wilhelmshaven was officially commissioned for service in December 2022. Fairplay Towage Group has been picked as the towage provider for the floating LNG terminals in Brunsbüttel, Stade, and Wilhelmshaven.

Previously, KN Energies provided commercial management services for the first Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbüttel LNG terminals, while following the takeover of their operation by DET and the launch of a new consolidated tender for the commercial management of all four LNG terminals earlier this year, the Lithuanian player took over the services for commercial management of all four terminals on behalf of DET.

Darius Šilenskis, Chief Executive Officer of KN Energies, commented: “It is symbolic that this year, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of Klaipėda LNG Terminal, a symbol of Lithuania’s energy independence, we are taking on even a greater role in the German LNG terminal market, the development of which, like in Lithuania, is aimed at ensuring the country’s energy independence and a reliable natural gas supply.

“We have been cooperating with our partners in Germany since 2022, and I am convinced that the unique competences, expertise, professionalism and cooperation demonstrated by KN Energies so far will allow us to successfully take on new responsibilities and meet the expectations of our customers.”

Recently, KN Energies revealed that an FSRU, working at the Klaipėda LNG terminal, has left for Denmark, where inspection and repair of the vessel will be done in the dry dock. Due to this, the FSRU will not perform regasification until mid-June.