Germany is getting closer to having its own terminal for liquid natural gas (LNG), which can be used for heating and power generation as well as for shipping and transport.
German LNG Terminal – a joint venture of the gas network operator Gasunie, tank storage provider Oiltanking and the oil and chemical storage company Vopak – plans to decide late next year whether to build a terminal in Brunsbuettel, near the mouth of the Elbe River, with an annual capacity of 5 billion cubic meters. If approved, the terminal could be operational by late 2022.
In addition, Qatar Petroleum, the world’s top supplier of LNG, has also announced that investing in an LNG terminal might be part of the emirate’s plans to invest EUR 10 billion in Germany over the next five years. In September, it announced that it was in talks with the German utilities RWE and Uniper about potentially cooperating on LNG deliveries. Having its own terminal would help Germany further diversify its supply sources and thereby boost its security of supply.
Expanding the availability and use of the more environmentally friendly LNG is targeted by both Germany’s ruling Grand Coalition government and EU directives.
Qatar has already invested a total of USD 20 billion in Germany in recent years – such as in Volkswagen, Deutsche Bank, Siemens, Hochtief and Solarworld – through its sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority. “We view Germany as a crucial player in the global economy and are very optimistic about the German market,” Qatari Finance Minister Ali Sharif al-Emadi told the German business daily Handelsblatt in September.