Berlin, 27 February 2022 (dpa/MIA) – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has announced the construction of two new terminals for liquefied natural gas, in what could signify a shake-up in the country’s energy policy in light of the Russian attack on Ukraine.
Germany’s coal and gas reserves would also be restocked, Scholz told the parliament in Berlin on Sunday.
There were many terminals in European Union countries for LNG, but not a single one in Germany, Scholz pointed out. The new terminals are to be located in Brunsbüttel und Wilhelmshaven in the country’s north, he said.
Terminals for LNG could also be used for hydrogen energy in the future, he added.
The world’s biggest LNG exporters are the United States, Qatar and Australia.
Scholz’s comments came in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and in light of Germany’s reliance on Russian natural gas.
“A responsible, forward-looking energy policy is not only vital to our economy and our climate, but also vital for Germany’s security,” Scholz said.
Up to now, Germany has been heavily dependent on Russian supplies for fossil fuels.
After Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his decision to recognize two separatist areas of Ukraine as independent, Germany put on hold the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, which was designed to double Russian natural gas deliveries to Germany via the Baltic Sea.
The complete pipeline would have supplied millions of households, but it is not being allowed to go into operation due to energy security concerns.
Germany also intends to phase out its nuclear power production by the end of this year, leaving observers questioning how Europe’s biggest economy will fulfill all of its energy needs.
The new coalition government, including the Green party, is planning a large-scale expansion of renewable energy. Green party ministers in the government have emphasized the urgency of this effort in light of the Russian invasion.
Scholz said on Sunday that Germany’s gas reserves would be increased by 2 billion cubic metres via so-called long-term options.
Russia’s state-owned Gazprom said on Sunday it was still delivering natural gas to Europe despite the war in Ukraine.
Gas was flowing through the pipeline in Ukraine “as per normal, in accordance with requests of European consumers” spokesman Sergey Kupriyanov said, according to the TASS news agency.
Some 107.5 million cubic metres of gas were to be pumped to Europe on Sunday. Should that pipeline’s capacities be exhausted, the Yamal–Europe pipeline would be used, Kupriyanov said.