Fluxys Enters German LNG Project
Belgium's Fluxys has agreed to join the Hanseatic Energy-led Stade LNG import project in north Germany as an "industrial partner", the companies said on March 3. Fluxys operates the Zeebrugge import and transhipment terminal in Zeebrugge.
Stade LNG is the largest of several proposed LNG plants in Germany, designed to receive up to 12bn m3/year of gas starting in 2026. A non-binding phase of an open season for the terminal's capacity concluded in mid-February, with Hanseatic saying the result confirmed sufficient market interest. The binding phase will start in the second quarter.
"We have been on the lookout for a world-class industrial partner to join the development and operate the terminal on a long-term basis, and we found that in Fluxys," Hanseatic's managing director Manfred Schubert commented. Fluxys' involvement will be finalised once default merger clearance procedure with competent authorities is completed.
Hanseatic Energy Hub and Fluxys said they wanted to build a near-zero carbon LNG terminal that uses excess heat from local industry for the regasification process. The terminal will also serve as an LNG distribution hub, providing supplies via rail, road, small LNG ships and barges. It will also offer bio-LNG to the shipping and heavy-duty transport markets.
"Last but not least, the terminal's location in a chemical industry cluster positions it as a key enabler for the development of low carbon gases along the energy transition trajectory," Fluxys said.
Germany has no LNG importing capability, primarily relying on gas from Russia and countries surrounding the North Sea for its needs. Power group Uniper had wanted to build a 10bn m3/yr facility in Wilhelmshaven but said in November it was considering converting the project to import hydrogen after receiving lacklustre market interest.
German LNG Terminal delayed sanctioning another 8bn m3/yr project in Brunsbuettel from the end of 2020 to the first half of 2021. There is already unused import capacity in northwest Europe but Germany has been keen to promote LNG, partly to placate the US: Berlin has been a staunch defender of the Nord Stream 2 project, which has been hit by US sanctions.