Monday, June 5, 2023

Scholz inaugurates first liquefied gas terminal in Germany

BERLIN (AP) – Chancellor Olaf Scholz inaugurated Germany’s first liquefied natural gas terminal on Saturday, declaring that the pace at which it is being put into service is a sign that Europe’s largest economy will remain strong.

The government’s top three officials – Scholz, Economy Minister Robert Habeck and Finance Minister Christian Lindner – attended the opening of the North Sea port of Wilhelmshaven as a sign of importance to the many new LNG terminals Germany plans to build. He is beating his hands and feet. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The terminals are part of a campaign to avert an energy crisis that includes temporarily reactivating old oil and coal-fired power stations and extending the lives of Germany’s last three nuclear power plants, which are slated to be decommissioned at the end of the year. I had to be closed. year, until the middle of April.

Days after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Scholz announced that the government had decided to quickly build the first two LNG terminals.

“When we said that, for example, a terminal like this should be built in Wilhelmshaven already this year, many people said that it is never possible, it will never succeed,” the chancellor said at Saturday’s ceremony. Will happen.” And the opposite is true.

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Port facilities were completed a month ago and a specially equipped vessel, a so-called “floating storage and regasification unit”, docked on Thursday with 165,000 cubic meters of LNG. The economy ministry said regasification is expected to begin in the coming days and “regular service” in January.

Two more terminals are expected to open this winter, with the other three expected to be available next winter. Scholz said their total capacity would be more than half the amount of Russian pipeline gas supplied last winter.

The sluggish planning process has long been a point of concern in Germany. Scholz declared on Saturday that “this is now the new German pace with which we are pushing infrastructure.”

“It is a good day for our country and a good sign for the whole world that the German economy will be in a position to remain strong, to produce and to meet this challenge,” he said.

Efforts to make Germany independent of Russian gas were well underway before Russia began reducing supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, its main supply route, in mid-June. Russia, which used to contribute more than half of the country’s natural gas supply, has not delivered any gas to Germany since late August.

Scholz underlined the importance of furthering Germany’s transition to renewable energy sources and stressed that a new pipeline to Wilhelmshaven was planned in such a way that it could be adapted to transport hydrogen in the future.

Nevertheless, the new gas terminals have drawn criticism from environmental groups.

And while he has broad mainstream political support, Tino Chorupalla, a leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany party, argued on Saturday that the Wilhelmshaven facility would not solve the energy crisis and called on the government to lift sanctions against Russia. .

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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