Uniper starts construction of Germany’s first LNG terminal

The construction work for Germany’s first LNG terminal and for the onshore and seaward port infrastructure can begin now that the State Trade Supervisory Authority Oldenburg has given its approval for an early start. Up to 7.5 billion m3/y of natural gas are to be handled via this terminal as quickly as possible. This is approximately 8.5% of Germany’s current gas demand per year. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection and Uniper are aiming for commissioning in winter 2022/2023.

“We are very pleased that things are now visibly getting underway,” said Lower Saxony’s Minister for the Environment, Energy, Building, and Climate Protection, Olaf Lies. “We need a replacement for Russian gas as quickly as possible, and we in the North are prepared to take responsibility for this. Every cubic meter we save will help us get through the next winter, and every cubic meter we import to Germany via alternative routes in the future will help us free ourselves more quickly from Russia’s grip. Here in Wilhelmshaven, we are currently demonstrating what the new German speed means: we are planning, approving, and building at eight times the normal speed. With such complex projects, this is only possible if everyone pulls in the same direction. Our thanks must therefore go in particular to the employees of the approval authorities. They have been working under high pressure day and night for many weeks on this important building block for more independence and freedom of our energy supply.”

Klaus-Dieter Maubach, CEO Uniper, said: “The rapid approval for the early start of construction shows the importance of the LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven for the country’s security of supply. This cannot be taken for granted – above all, it shows what is possible when society, industry, and politics pull together. We are proud to be able to make a significant contribution to Germany’s independence in natural gas supplies at our site in Wilhelmshaven, hopefully before the end of the winter 2022/2023. In the medium and long term, our Green Wilhelmshaven hydrogen project will set the course for an even more climate-friendly energy supply.”

Uniper had submitted the application for the required permit and for admission of an early start under the German Federal Emission Control Act (BlmSchG) to the Oldenburg State Trade Inspectorate at the beginning of June.

The permit for an early start of construction works in accordance with §8a BlmSchG relates to all parts of the land- and seaward infrastructure as well as an approximately 30 km long high-pressure gas pipeline between the FSRU and the transfer point into the natural gas pipeline network of Open Grid Europe (OGE). The BlmSchG application, the essential parts of which have already been submitted to the approval authority, is to be completed by the beginning of September 2022.