‘Free from Russia’s grip’: Work on Germany’s first LNG terminal starts after quick approval

Regulators have fast-tracked approval for Germany’s first liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal at the North Sea port of Wilhelmshaven, which will allow the import of LNG to help replace Russian gas.

Work started Monday after the State Trade Supervisory Authority of Oldenburg worked at eight times the normal speed to give the green light, energy company Uniper said.

The aim is to finish the terminal before the end of the winter, during which the need for alternative energy will be acute.

It will handle 7.5 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year, about 8.5% of Germany’s current requirements.

“We need a replacement for Russian gas as quickly as possible, and we in the north are prepared to take responsibility for this,” said Olaf Lies, environment minister for Lower Saxony.

“Every cubic metre we save will help us get through the next winter, and every cubic metre we import to Germany via alternative routes in the future will help us free ourselves more quickly from Russia’s grip.”

He said the planning, approval and building process was being carried out at eight times the normal speed, and commented: “Our thanks must go to the employees of the approval authorities. They have been working under high pressure day and night for many weeks on this important building block for more independence and freedom of our energy supply.”

Klaus-Dieter Maubach, Uniper’s chief executive, said that in the longer term the terminal would be used to handle hydrogen

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