Energy supply: Special ship for the LNG terminal arrived off Rügen

A floating terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) has reached the coast of the Baltic Sea island of Rügen.

Energy supply: Special ship for the LNG terminal arrived off Rügen

A floating terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) has reached the coast of the Baltic Sea island of Rügen. In the morning the almost 300 meter long “Energos Power” arrived off Mukran in the north-east of Rügen. The special ship had reached the industrial port and moored at the specially upgraded berth 12, the future operator of the terminal, Deutsche Regas, announced this morning.

According to the information, preparations for trial operation are now beginning. For example, data connections should be established and initial security checks should be carried out.

According to the company, the ship was loading Norwegian LNG. In the future, the ship will receive LNG from other tankers in the port of Mukran, return it to a gaseous state and feed it into a 50-kilometer-long, already completed connecting pipeline that will bring the gas to Lubmin on the mainland. The gas will then be distributed via the existing gas pipeline junction.

Water law approval is still pending

As of Friday, one of the two necessary permits for appropriate tests on the operability of the regasification plant has already been received. Now the company also needs a water permit for the test operation, as a spokesman for the Ministry of the Environment said on Friday. This is still pending and is expected to be issued next week.

The terminal should be ready for operation this year, as Deutsche Regas supervisory board chairman Stephan Knabe said, according to an announcement on Saturday. “As announced, we will use Energos Power to feed natural gas from Mukran into the German long-distance gas pipeline network this winter.”

The Federal Government's Eastern Commissioner, Carsten Schneider, sees the start of operations at the terminal on Rügen as a real success for energy prices. "This secures Germany's energy independence and the production capacity of many companies. The fact that the terminal could be built and the necessary lines laid within just a few months is proof of Germany's new pace and should be a model for further infrastructure projects." Nevertheless, liquid gas can only be a stopover on the way to climate neutrality. "That's why this infrastructure is designed to transport green hydrogen in the future."

Criticism from German Environmental Aid

The German Environmental Aid (DUH), however, sees the arrival of the terminal as a “conversion of the holiday island of Rügen into a fossil energy park”. The effects on nature, landscape and climate are devastating, said DUH Federal Managing Director Sascha Müller-Kraenner. "However, the double terminal in front of Mukran has not yet been finally approved. We will use all political and legal levers to stop the fossil fuel project."

Resistance to the Rügen terminal has existed for more than a year. Critics like the DUH speak of unnecessary overcapacity, climate damage and dangers to nature and tourism. The gas storage facilities are full and there is no sign of a gas emergency - that's the accusation. Nevertheless, environmental and nature conservation are not sufficiently recognized within the framework of accelerated approval procedures. Associations have repeatedly taken the project to court. However, corresponding urgent procedures failed.

Deutsche Regas already operates a floating terminal in Lubmin, the “Neptune”. According to previous company information, the ship will also be relocated to Mukran after the end of the current heating season and after a stay in the shipyard, so that the location there has two floating terminals and a higher feed-in capacity. Operating directly in Lubmin is complex because the LNG has to be reloaded onto smaller tankers in order to transport it through the Greifswalder Bodden.

In the wake of the Russian attack on Ukraine, the federal government pushed the development of the LNG import infrastructure in the form of terminals on the North and Baltic Seas in order to become more independent of Russian gas deliveries. Floating terminals are already in operation in Wilhelmshaven in Lower Saxony and in Brunsbüttel in Schleswig-Holstein. Another location, Stade in Lower Saxony, is due to open soon.