German Chancellor Olaf Scholz attended on Saturday the opening of Germany’s second liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal since its reliance on Russian gas came to a close, celebrating the country’s ability to get through the winter while evading an energy crisis.
The Lubmin LNG terminal became operational on Saturday in the northeastern state of Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania.
Last December, Germany opened its first terminal in Wilhelmshaven in the northwest. A third terminal is due to go into operation soon in the northern town of Brunsbüttel.
Scholz applauds ‘getting through this winter’
Scholz hailed the government’s energy planning as he attended the new terminal’s launch.
“We are getting through this winter, everyone is noticing it at home, the gas supply is not affected,” he said.
“There has also been no economic crisis in Germany,” Scholz said, adding that this was due to the government’s ability to swiftly turn round energy infrastructure, secure new sources of gas and introduce aid programs worth billions of euros.
Europe’s largest economy has been hard at work to avoid an energy crisis after Russia’s war on Ukraine forced it to sever ties with its biggest gas supplier.
In 2021 alone, Germany received some 60 billion cubic meters of natural gas through the now-defunct Nord Stream 1 pipeline. The pipeline ran beneath the Baltic Sea and delivered Russian gas to Germany, before Russia suspended its flow in September last year, citing equipment issues.
Shortly afterward, both Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2, which was not yet in use, pipelines were sabotaged in a mystery incident that rendered them inoperable. Western countries have suggested the sabotage was intentional.
What do we know about the new terminal?
The Lubmin terminal has been injected with gas since the beginning of the week, as a test operation. The terminal is the only fully privately financed one in Germany.
It is expected to supply the country’s east with up to 5.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually.
Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania state Premier Manuela Schwesig hailed her state’s contribution to energy security as she attended the launch on Saturday. She said the new terminal showed the government was ready to do everything to make sure energy remained sufficient and affordable.
LNG coming from several parts of the world by ship arrives at the newly operational terminals to be converted back into gas and pumped into the grid.
Germany has struck several gas deals in recent months, including a deal to receive around 2 million tons of LNG from Qatar annually.
rmt/sms (AFP, dpa)