Germany is ready to receive its first LNG imports after the completion of construction works at the port of Wilhelmshaven, the Lower Saxony state government announced on Tuesday. The works were completed in record time, with Wilhelmshaven set to host two of five floating storage regasification units backed by Germany’s federal government.
The works – including a new jetty, pipelines and electricity lines – were completed in “just 194 days”, the Lower Saxony government said on Tuesday.
Commenting on the completion of construction works, Olaf Lies, Lower Saxony’s Minister for Economic Affairs, Transport, Construction, and Digitization explains: “Today, Germany has their eyes on Wilhelmshaven. The new LNG Jetty is a great step towards a secure energy supply. Within an extremely short amount of time, Niedersachsen [Lower Saxony] was able to deliver, at what many nowadays refer to as the “neue Deutschlandgeschwindigkeit” (Germany’s new fast pace).
“An early decision to select Wilhelmshaven as the hub for LNG imports proved to be spot-on. Both, the already existing port infrastructure, and the excellent underlying conditions, contributed to making this project a solid success. In particular, this was made possible by precise coordination and a highly professional collaboration among all project partners. Innovation and engineering prowess were the driving forces behind an infrastructure project of national importance.”
Niedersachsen Ports was tasked with the construction work, which began on 5 May. The job was undertaken by a team of 30-40 individuals who installed more than 7,000 metric tons of steel and in excess of 3,000 m2 of concrete.
Niedersachsen Ports said the first FSRU is due to dock at Wilhelmshaven in mid-December – in line with the federal government’s timeline for first LNG imports by year-end.
The Hoegh Esperanza, chartered by RWE, is expected to arrive at Wilhelmshaven next month according to reports, with a spokesperson for the Lower Saxony government telling Reuters on Tuesday that the vessel will arrive laden with LNG. The FSRU is currently at a shipyard in Brest, France, according to ship tracking data.
Wilhelmshaven will host two FSRUs – the Esperanza and the Excelsior, chartered from Excelerate Energy by a consortium of E.ON, Engie and Tree Energy Solutions.
The race is on to import Germany’s maiden LNG cargo. In September, RWE announced it had secured an LNG cargo from ADNO for delivery to its planned FSRU at the port of Brunsbuttel in December, with the German firm suggesting this will the first LNG imported into its home market.
If everything goes to plan, Germany could have about 30 Bcm/y of LNG import capacity – through six terminals – by the end of 2023. However, securing enough LNG cargoes on a tight global market could prove challenging. - ET
Photo: NPorts/Andreas Burmann