Bild: German Vice Chancellor Habek’s plan to replace Russian gas with LNG supplies has failed
The plan of German Economy Minister Robert Habek to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) instead of Russian is on the verge of failure. This is reported by the German newspaper Bild.
In particular, the representative of the Christian Democratic Union Torsten Frei expressed the opinion that this strategy of the Vice-Chancellor of Germany will not be able to replace the amount of gas that Germany will need in the coming winter. He also called for the resumption of coal-fired power plants.
That’s why we must do everything possible to quickly fill the gas storage
Not enough tankers
As follows from the publication, the German Federal Network Agency expects LNG imports to reach 13 billion cubic meters in the first half of 2023 to partially replace Russian gas. However, Martin Kroeger from the Union of Shipowners noted that there are no tankers in the German merchant fleet that can carry LNG over long distances. “A total of almost 500 LNG tankers are available worldwide. But demand from other regions is high,” he stressed.
Andreas Fischer, an expert from the Institute for German Economics, also pointed to the fact that most tankers are already tied to long-term contracts. Moreover, Germany noted that the required volumes of LNG should be available on the world market, but so far only one of the three planned terminals has been approved.
The German authorities are seeking to reduce dependence on energy resources from Russia after the start of a military special operation in Ukraine. In early May, Berlin began filling the Reden, the largest underground gas storage (UGS) in Western Europe, which holds about four billion cubic meters of gas. To provide an alternative to Russian supplies, Germany, which does not yet have terminals for receiving LNG, has chartered two floating regasification units, which in the future will allow importing up to 14 billion cubic meters of gas. In total, Berlin wants to get four floating terminals.
Battle for LNG
The changed situation forced Europe to urgently increase its purchases of LNG. In April, the supply of this type of fuel became a record for the entire history – 10.65 billion cubic meters. Similar records were reached in January and March.
At the same time, Bloomberg noted that Europe’s plan to reduce pipeline Russian gas imports by two-thirds by the end of the year and replace it with LNG from the US and Africa sharply intensifies competition for fuel. In addition, demand from China is growing.
Earlier, a columnist for the German edition of Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (DWN) Moritz Enders predicted the collapse of the European Union because of Germany. He noted that “failed security and energy policies” contribute to this. According to Enders, European projects in this area are not backed by anything, because Germany – the organization’s largest donor – is threatened with massive deindustrialization. “Up to six million jobs could disappear in this country,” he added.
In June, the European Union officially introduced the sixth package of anti-Russian sanctions. The main measure under the new sanctions package was a partial embargo on oil supplies from Russia. The ban will not include raw materials supplied through the Druzhba pipeline. It is planned that the rejection of oil will occur within six months, from oil products – within eight months.
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