Germany adds on more LNG import capacity

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Jan. 20 (UPI) — Bermuda-based maritime energy infrastructure company Hoegh LNG said it secured its second long-term contract to supply the German market with natural gas.

Germany is quickly building up the infrastructure necessary to turn super-cooled liquid natural gas back to the gaseous form for use on the grid.

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Rather than build up the onshore infrastructure like that found along the U.S. Gulf Coast, importers are relying on specialized vessels called floating storage and regasification units to take in LNG.

Hoegh said it’s allocated its FSRU Hoegh Gannet for the new German contract. German energy company RWE will do much of the processing at a facility at the port city of Brunsbuttel.

“We are proud to sign the second contract with the federal government of Germany for the new LNG import terminal in Brunsbuttel and look forward to starting operations together with RWE and the other partners,” Erik Nyheim, president and CEO of Hoegh LNG, said Thursday.

The Hoegh Gannet measures nearly 1,000 feet in length and can load as much as 6 million cubic feet of LNG from tankers in a single loading, convert that back to gas and feed it to the grid.

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Vessel tracking data show the Hoegh Gannet was already moored off Brunsbuttel by Friday, building up momentum that started early this year.

Germany received its debut delivery of LNG during the first week of January, with the Hoegh Esperanza converting LNG shipped from the Calcasieu Pass export terminal in Louisiana onboard the Maria Energy.

French major TotalEnergies followed suit with the supplies from Neptune, a vessel that has enough regasification capacity to meet about 5% of German demand.

The European energy market has made something of a stunning turnaround in just a few short months. Before it invaded Ukraine last February, Russia was the primary supplier of crude oil and natural gas to the European economy and leaders spent much of last year fretting over where to get alternate sources.

Germany, meanwhile, sits at the terminal end of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which stopped delivering Russian natural gas last year.

LNG, however, is not yet a panacea for Europe. Norwegian consultancy Rystad Energy finds the energy market remains in a precarious state as LNG volumes are now only partially making up for the loss of Russian supplies.

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