Liquified natural Gas (LNG) for Germany
LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) offers the possibility to transport natural gas by ship from producer countries all over the world to Germany.
Many arguments support the realisation of an LNG landing terminal in Germany and especially in Wilhelmshaven. A landing terminal contributes significantly to improving the security of supply with natural gas and the affordability of a sustainable energy supply for many decades. Moreover, natural gas makes an important contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
LNG landing terminals can be constructed either on land or as a floating unit.
A floating terminal – Floating Storage and Regasification Unit FSRU – as planned for Wilhelmshaven, can be realized most economically and quickly.
Together with various partners Uniper is working intensively on the realisation of the terminal project in Wilhelmshaven. In 2018, Uniper began to market the capacity and to design the FSRU in detail. All necessary approval processes have already been initiated so that the LNG terminal can be ready for operation in the second half of 2022.
LNG serves to diversify gas sources for the European markets and thus strengthens the security of gas supply in Germany and Europe.
Gas as a partner in the energy transition will continue to play an important role in our energy mix in the future: both in power generation as well as in the industry, in the heating market and in the transport sector.
As natural gas production in Europe continues to decline significantly, the need to import natural gas will increase significantly in the coming decades. LNG will cover a substantial part of this additional import demand.
For the benefit of the end consumer, additional sources of supply serve to strengthen price competition in the gas markets.
FSRU-project Wilhelmshaven at a glance
- FSRU location: Jade Bay, only German deepwater port
- Capacity of FSRU: up to 10 bcm/a nominal send-out; 263,000 m³ of storage capacity
- Onshore pipeline: only 30 km to be built in mainly agricultural setting
- Project schedule: could be ready to operate in 2023
Strategic importance of the project
- The development of an infrastructure for liquefied natural gas – LNG – with a landing terminal in Wilhelmshaven will connect Germany much better to the global gas markets than before. This strengthens competition between global gas sources and is beneficial to the end consumer in Germany.
- The German government’s coalition agreement also contains the development of an LNG infrastructure in Germany.
- FSRU provides competitive access to the liquid gas markets in Northwest Europe to allow for development of liquefaction projects.
Pipeline network & infrastructure
- Wilhelmshaven is Germany’s only deep water port and can be reached by LNG tankers of any size without tidal restrictions. The location is close to the existing pipeline and gas storage infrastructure.
- The existing infrastructure and approvals will speed up the development of the project.
FSRU and pipeline engineering
- FSRU provider will be MOL (Mitsui O.S.K. Lines)
- The Project engineering of the pipeline connection to be build is covered by a very experienced in-house team together with external consultants
The location of Wilhelmshaven is the best solution for an LNG terminal in Germany:
The LNG tankers can berth in accordance with international standards. Furthermore, Wilhelmshaven is Germany’s only deep-water port. LNG tankers of all sizes can reach the facility independently of tides. In addition, the ideal maritime location allows LNG tankers to moor and dock without hindering traffic to other major ports.
There is an urban development agreement with the neighbouring municipality of Wangerland that enables industry and tourism to coexist.
The required pipeline connection to the nearby natural gas pipeline Netra will mainly cross agricultural land.
The pre-conditions for a later landside expansion of the terminal for up to 40 bcm/a are already available.
The local economy will be strengthened by the construction of the terminal and the accompanying industry. The establishment of an FSRU will allow Wilhelmshaven and the region of Friesland to foster its role as an energy hub in Northwestern Europe.
FSRU – What is an FSRU?
- An FSRU is a floating storage facility in which LNG, i.e. natural gas, in its liquified form, is converted back to gas. Afterwards the gas is fed into the grid and delivered to the consumer.
An FSRU allows Germany to be connected to the LNG world market at significantly lower costs than the construction of an onshore terminal.
The FSRU technology is commonly used in the LNG industry. Worldwide, more than 30 FSRUs are already in use and others are under construction.
The investment costs for an FSRU are significantly lower than those for the alternative concept of a land-based terminal. Furthermore, the time for implementation is much shorter.
The design of the FSRU in Wilhelmshaven offers the possibility to use LNG as an environmentally friendly fuel for shipping. The supply of LNG fuelling stations for heavy goods traffic is foreseen by the planned facility. The excellent infrastructural connection to the transport network also facilitates the onward transport of LNG on land (e.g. for the transport of LNG to filling stations).
Technical Details of an FSRU incl. capacity
- The FSRU will fulfil corresponding international standards and regulations (IMO, MARPOL, SIGTTO, etc.)
- The FSRU is designed to operate for 20 years without dry-docking.
- Length / Breadth / Draught: 345.0 m / 55.0 m / 12.0 m
- LNG-Tank volume: 263,000 m³
- Base send-out rate: 1,000mmscf/d (1.1 million m³/h)
- Peak send-out rate: 1,250mmscf/d (1.4 million m³/h)
FSRU – more details
- The FSRU will be permanently moored to the jetty.
- Flexible hoses connect the FSRU and supplying LNG carrier. The expected loading rate will be 10,000 m³/h LNG.
- The duration of the discharge operation is similar to the one of a land based LNG Terminal.
- Regasification will take place onboard, with seawater as the source of heat.
- Natural gas will be discharged from the FSRU via three discharge arms and then transported to gas measurement station using one pipeline.
- The FSRU will be able to load LNG onto bunker barges via the regular manifolds as well as an additional set of manifolds designed for the smallest barges aiming e.g. at inland water ways.
- Up to five truck loading bays are foreseen to enable the onward transportation of LNG via road or rail.
Discussions with interested market participants about the long-term booking of capacities at the terminal progress well.
With Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), Uniper already has an experienced and reliable partner at its side. As part of the project, MOL intends to own, operate and finance the FSRU.
Why is Uniper engaged in the FSRU project Wilhelmshaven?
Uniper is one of the largest gas companies in Europe and has the technical and commercial expertise to implement the project together with strong partners. Since more than 15 years Uniper is active in the LNG business.
Uniper is well positioned in Europe along the entire gas value chain.
There is no other company in Germany that operates at so many levels of the LNG value chain.
Uniper’s LNG portfolio is on a steep growth track, with transport capacities and international LNG procurement projects. Furthermore, the LNG trading business has grown strongly in recent years.
Moreover, with its subsidiary Liqvis, Uniper is active in the field of LNG mobility in heavy goods traffic.
Why MOL as a partner?
MOL is a Japanese transport company founded in 1964.
Throughout its longstanding history, MOL has grown into one of the world’s largest full – line marine transport groups.
MOL is one of the leading players in the LNG shipping industry.
In 2017, MOL built the world’s largest FSRU: The FSRU Challenger (Turkey) – owned and operated by MOL. It represents the basis of the design for the FSRU Wilhelmshaven.
Open Season process
In May 2019 LNG Terminal Wilhelmshaven GmbH (“LTW”) investigated market participants’ interest in the LNG terminal project in Wilhelmshaven in a so-called Open Season process.
LTW, based in Wilhelmshaven, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uniper Global Commodities SE. LTW will continue the initiative kicked off by Uniper to realize the first LNG import terminal in Germany at the present location.