Germany’s first two temporary liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, being prepared as part of a shift away from Russian energy, will go into operation at the end of this year or the start of 2023, said German Economy Minister Robert Habeck on Saturday.
The German government has leased four floating LNG terminals, Habeck told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
“Two ships are already available this year and are to be deployed in Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbüttel at the turn of the year 2022/23,” he told the newspaper.
The pace of the switch away from Russian natural gas and to LNG had “never been seen before in Germany,” Habeck said.
Moscow has also already significantly reduced the supplies of gas reaching Germany via pipeline, even as Berlin seeks other energy sources.
The head of Germany’s Network Agency, which oversees energy supply networks, Klaus Müller, said on Saturday he fears a total halt to Russian gas supplies.
The upcoming regular maintenance of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline could potentially “turn into a longer-lasting political maintenance,” Müller told the newspapers of the Funke-Mediengruppe (Saturday).
He appealed to the population to reduce their energy consumption.
If Russia were to halt gas exports to Germany, Müller said he would prioritize protecting hospitals or care homes in particular. “I can say that we would do everything to prevent having private households left without gas,” he said.
The official said the coronavirus pandemic showed that officials should be wary of making promises they can’t be totally sure of keeping. But the Network Agency doesn’t foresee a scenario in which no gas would come to Germany, he stressed.