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Germany Doubles Down On LNG Fearing Another Gas Pipeline Attack

Germany looks to install one or two floating LNG import terminals at its largest island, Rügen in the Baltic Sea, as officials do not rule out further attacks on energy and gas pipeline infrastructure, sources with knowledge of the plans told Bloomberg on Thursday.

Germany cannot rule out another attack on a pipeline carrying natural gas after the mysterious sabotage on the Nord Stream pipelines last autumn, according to Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Bloomberg’s sources say.

Until the middle of 2022, Germany received most of its gas from Russia via Nord Stream 1 before Russia axed deliveries in early September, claiming an inability to repair gas turbines because of the Western sanctions. The sabotage on Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 occurred at the end of the same month.

After the Russian gas supply stopped, Norway is now Germany’s top natural gas supplier, and supplies are coming via pipelines.

Concerned about a potential new attack on pipeline infrastructure, German officials are now looking to have floating LNG import terminals at the Mukran port on the Rügen island by 2024, according to Bloomberg’s sources. 

Faced with the prospect of no Russian gas, Germany rushed to install floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) last year. 

Europe’s biggest economy plans to have as much as 70.7 million tons per year of LNG import capacity by 2030, which will make it the fourth-largest LNG import capacity holder in the world. Germany plans to have a total of 10 FSRUs, some of which will be removed and replaced by onshore regasification facilities once they are built. The rush to have LNG import terminals as soon as possible will make Germany the fourth largest import capacity holder behind the major Asian LNG buyers South Korea, China, and Japan.

Germany may end up using less LNG import capacity than it has planned to roll out this decade, but better safe than sorry, the chief executive of the top German utility, RWE, said last month in an interview with German business magazines Der Stern and Capital.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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