WFW assists NORD/LB on €100M German LNG terminal financing

London-based law firm Watson Farley & Williams has advised Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale (NORD/LB), one of the largest commercial banks in Germany, on the long-term financing of an import terminal for liquefied gas to be constructed in Stade-Buetzfleh, Lower Saxony, Germany.

The project, which is being co-financed by both the German Federal Government and the state of Lower Saxony, is expected to be operational by the end of 2023.

The federal government and the state of Lower Saxony each pledged €100 million to finance the energy port in Stade, and the Lower Saxony State Agency for Water Management, Coastal Protection and Nature Conservation (NLWKN) approved an early start to the preparatory measures for the construction of LNG jetty back in September this year.

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The multidisciplinary WFW Hamburg team advising the lender was led by Projects & Structured Finance Partner Stefan Kilgus who said: “I am delighted we were able to assist NORD/LB on ensuring financing was made quickly available for this important project that helps ensure German’s energy security at a time of great geopolitical concern.

That we were instructed to advise on this transaction is a testament to WFW’s unrivalled expertise advising on complex energy and infrastructure projects across multiple service lines.”

The terminal will first operate via a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) that will supply a land-based regasification facility at a later stage. It is owned by Niedersachsen Ports GmbH & Co. KG, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the State of Lower Saxony.

The FRSU will initially be operated by the Federal Republic of Germany while Hamburg-based Hanseatic Energy Hub is expected to operate the land-based regasification unit.

After completion, the terminal will be used to import various liquefied gases including LNG for the benefit of regional industries.

Recently, the EU Commission also confirmed the exemption from regulation for the terminal. The exemption applies to an annual throughput capacity of 13.3 billion cubic metres of natural gas.

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Click here to read more about the latest updates on Germany’s efforts to secure LNG supplies.