In order to become independent of Russian natural gas, Economics Minister Habeck is counting on liquefied natural gas (LNG), but Germany does not have an LNG terminal. That is why he wants to have four LNG terminals built in Germany in a rush. The first facility in Wilhelmshaven is to go into operation by the end of the year. However, the German Environmental Aid Association (DUH) has now lodged an objection to the construction project, citing the danger to harbour porpoises.
Environmental aid demands immediate construction stop in Wilhelmshaven
In order to achieve independence from Russian natural gas, the liquefied natural gas terminal in Wilhelmshaven is urgently needed. Germany does not currently have a corresponding facility through which liquefied gas can be landed and fed into the gas grid. However, Deutsche Umwelthilfe is calling for an immediate halt to construction. In DUH’s view, the construction would threaten irreversible destruction of an underwater biotope. In addition, harbour porpoises would be endangered.
DUH also criticises that the start of construction was approved without involving the environmental associations. Therefore, the environmental aid organisation has lodged an objection against the approval of the State Agency for Water Management, Coastal Protection and Nature Conservation (NLWKN). “Instead of finally initiating a consistent change towards a climate-neutral society, the door is being opened to the destruction of our livelihoods,” says Sascha Müller-Kraenner, DUH’s national director, and insists that the principles of the rule of law be observed. This applies all the more when it comes to climate and environmental protection.
Habeck warns against legal action
Economics Minister Habeck warns against a lawsuit. In an interview with RTL, he said in this regard: “Should we not have the LNG terminals, and should the gas not come from Russia, security of supply in Germany is not guaranteed”. That is why, according to Habeck, Germany has already bought four special ships to transport LNG, two of which should be available in December. “If we didn’t have them, we would really be even more defenceless in this situation,” Habeck says in response.
Lower Saxony’s Energy Minister is critical of the environmental aid organisation’s objection
Lower Saxony’s Energy Minister Olaf Lies was also critical of DUH’s opposition, calling it “remarkably inappropriate”. According to Lies, the transitional solution with floating LNG terminals is an elementary pillar for a gas supply independent of Russia.
Wilhelmshaven terminal to go into operation this year
Germany has budgeted a total of almost 3 billion euros for the construction of four floating liquefied natural gas terminals. According to the Ministry of Economics, the locations in Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbüttel have already been determined. The terminal in Wilhelmshaven is to go into operation this year, the terminal in Brunsbüttel at the beginning of 2023. The other locations have not yet been determined. Stade, Rostock, Hamburg-Moorburg and Eemshaven in the Netherlands are under discussion.