LNG and ammonia: Where the vitality of the longer term arrives | EUROtoday

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AOn this February noon on the Elbe, a chilly, moist wind creeps into your collar and beneath your jacket because the tug “Bützfleth” diesels alongside the port of Stade. In the approaching years, one of the essential facilities of the German vitality business will emerge on this extraordinarily inhospitable place – initially for the import of deep-cooled, liquefied pure fuel (LNG), and later for fuels similar to “green” ammonia, which is generated utilizing renewable energies must be. At least that’s the plan of enterprise and politics.

Johann Killinger, proprietor and boss of the Hamburg port logistics firm BUSS Group, appears on the services on the banks of the Elbe round 40 kilometers west of Hamburg from the bow of the ship. In the background is the Stade chemical park with the vegetation of Dow and different firms. In entrance of it, a newly constructed pier for unloading fuel tankers protrudes from the river, which the “Bützfleth” now heads for. Killinger performed a key function in advancing this venture. The obligatory choice to construct the Hanseatic Energy Hub may very well be made in March; sooner or later it will be Germany's largest facility for importing LNG. “We are in the final stages of making the final investment decision for the terminal,” he says. “When making decisions of this magnitude, it is important to carry out all formal steps properly right up to the end.”

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The tanker “Yara Kara” is loaded with ammonia at Yara in Brunsbüttel

Also this month, a floating LNG import terminal, a so-called Floating Storage and Regasificiaton Unit (FSRU), will moor in Stade for a transitional interval. It is one in every of 4 such particular ships that had been chartered by the federal authorities for a number of years in 2022 to forestall a collapse of the German pure fuel market after the Russian assault on Ukraine.

Visualization of the planned LNG terminal Hanseatic Energy Hub in Stade

Visualization of the deliberate LNG terminal Hanseatic Energy Hub in Stade

Quelle: Hanseatic Energy Hub

A number of years in the past, just a few individuals within the German financial system believed that it may make sense to construct a number of vegetation in Germany for the import of liquefied pure fuel. This LNG, which needs to be cooled to minus 160 levels for transport all over the world, is cumbersome and sophisticated to deal with. For many years, firms and politicians most well-liked to depend on sensible, low-cost Russian pipeline fuel, lulled by the supposed certainty that the Russians had all the time delivered reliably even through the Cold War. At the time, Killinger and Frank Schnabel, the managing director of the Brunsbüttel port logistics firm Schramm Group, had been moderately lonely in selling the development of LNG terminals – with such methods, Germany can import pure fuel from different areas of the world, no matter pipelines, be it from the USA Persian Gulf or from Australia. “Our business case for the LNG import terminal in Stade – before the start of the war in Ukraine – was the view that we did not have a functioning natural gas market in Northern Europe because there were far too few natural gas suppliers,” says the 63-year-old. That wasn't standard again then. But quickly after the assault on Ukraine, Russia truly stopped exporting pure fuel to Western Europe. The federal authorities was in a rush to construct LNG terminals.

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Ute Varrelmann, head of the network operations division at Gasnetz Hamburg, in the company's workshop in Tiefstack

The battle additionally accelerated the venture in Stade, which Killlinger had initiated years earlier than. The development space for the stationary LNG terminal has now been largely ready, an space of ​​24 hectares that’s a part of the chemical park. The floor has been leveled there for months and connections to the German pure fuel community and provide traces have been laid. Four firms need to notice the Hanseatic Energy Hub. The BUSS Group holds round 1 / 4 of the shares within the working firm, and Killinger acts as one in every of two managing administrators. There can also be the Swiss monetary firm Partners Group as the most important shareholder, in addition to Dow and the Spanish vitality firm Enagás. The venture sponsors need to make investments one billion euros within the development of the Hanseatic Energy Hub. Around 300 million euros of tax cash is already within the new pier that the Lower Saxony port operator NPorts inbuilt 2023.

A chemical tanker at the port of Stade

A chemical tanker on the port of Stade

Which: Bertold Fabricius

The LNG terminal is scheduled to enter operation in 2027. It is deliberate for a throughput of 13.3 billion cubic meters of pure fuel per yr – this corresponds to round 15 % of Germany's whole annual pure fuel requirement. But the system can also be supposed for the European market. In the longer term, the German vitality firms EnBW and SEFE in addition to ČEZ from the Czech Republic will buy twelve billion cubic meters of pure fuel from Stade, whereas the remaining 1.3 billion cubic meters yearly will likely be bought on the spot market within the quick time period. Two storage tanks, every 90 meters in diameter and 60 meters excessive, will rise above the Elbe on the Hanseatic Energy Hub. Each tank holds 240,000 cubic meters of LNG. When the methane returns to gaseous kind, one cubic meter of LNG corresponds to 600 cubic meters of pure fuel.

To today, the BUSS Group, based in 1920, can also be energetic within the traditional port business and delivery, be it with stevedores for heavy items dealing with, with a stake within the Hamburg delivery firm Leonhardt & Blumberg or with a multi-purpose terminal in Stade. But the main focus of the corporate, which presently has round 500 workers and an annual turnover of 300 million euros, has modified. For many years, BUSS was one of the essential gamers within the Port of Hamburg. However, after the lease ended, Killinger needed to shut the Hansa Port heavy raise terminal in 2017. He had beforehand repositioned the corporate within the vitality sector, for instance with terminals in Eemshaven within the Netherlands and in Sassnitz on Rügen. And later additionally with the Hanseatic Energy Hub.

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Connectors for the RWE offshore wind farm “Kaskasi” are at the Buss terminal in Eemshaven

Killinger has skilled a number of instances the stunning twists and turns that include the vitality business. In the previous decade, the then federal authorities slowed down the enlargement of offshore wind energy in German maritime areas. The utilization of the BUSS terminal in Eemshaven subsequently fell sharply. At instances the power made losses, though the terminal on the North Sea can also be used within the development of offshore wind farms in different European international locations. Pipes for the Nord Stream 2 pure fuel pipeline had been shipped to the Baltic Sea by way of the BUSS terminal in Sassnitz. This new – and now partially destroyed – pipeline for the import of Russian pure fuel has all the time been controversial internationally. Since the Ukraine War on the newest, its development, which the federal governments on the time helped promote, has been seen as a historic mistake.

The newly built pier for LNG tankers in Stade

The newly constructed pier for LNG tankers in Stade

Which: Bertold Fabricius

LNG, the import of which saved Germany from a doable vitality disaster in 2023, has lengthy been the topic of political criticism once more, particularly from environmental organizations. “The planned LNG terminal in Stade is not compatible with the climate goals,” says Susanne Gerstner, the state chairwoman of BUND Lower Saxony. German Environmental Aid, amongst others, is combating towards the development of a stationary LNG terminal in Brunsbüttel. And the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin just lately postulated in a examine: “The oversized LNG infrastructure expansion is not necessary to avoid a potential gas shortage and should therefore not be pursued further.”

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Cranes and construction machinery are working on the construction site of the “German Baltic Sea” energy terminal in the port of Mukran.

Killinger, who was additionally Vice President of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce from 2017 to 2021 as one of many “chamber rebels”, sees this calmly. “The project here in Stade is set for the federal government,” he says. From his perspective, it’s equally essential that the import terminal can change to importing so-called “green” ammonia in a number of years. The foundation for this and likewise for the import of different vitality sources must be “green” hydrogen, which sooner or later will likely be produced in windy and sunny areas of the world utilizing inexperienced electrical energy. Killinger suspects that imports of ammonia will rise sharply in the direction of the tip of the last decade. The terminal then needs to be retrofitted step-by-step. Liquefied ammonia is round minus 33 levels and has totally different chemical properties than the a lot colder LNG.

However, the highway to a basically secure provide of renewable vitality in Germany continues to be a great distance off. Natural fuel energy vegetation will proceed to function for a very long time to compensate for fluctuating yields from wind and solar energy. “It’s incredibly exciting to be involved in the transformation of the energy industry,” says Killinger. “We saw what a lack of security of supply can mean after the start of the war in Ukraine.”

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https://www.welt.de/regionales/hamburg/article250335760/LNG-und-Ammoniak-Wo-die-Energie-der-Zukunft-ankommt.html