Germany scales down LNG terminal plans as supply crisis eases
Berlin, May 15 (Reuters) - Germany will almost halve planned capacity for liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in the Baltic Sea, a government source said, as Berlin revaluates its LNG needs given local resistance and an easing of energy bottlenecks.
Two floating LNG terminals are to be sited at Mukran off the Ruegen coast with annual capacity of around 10 billion cubic metres (bcm), down from the 18 bcm previously planned, the source said on condition of anonymity.
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Deutsche Regas will operate the floating stations in Ruegen, a popular tourist attraction, instead of utility RWE, which said last month it did not want to operate any LNG infrastructure long term.
It added, the government would include the project in its LNG Acceleration Act that gives an overview of Berlin's LNG infrastructure plans.
Germany last year pushed to accelerate the building of its LNG infrastructure, following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine and a sudden drop in piped Russian gas imports to Europe's biggest economy that exposed Berlin's dependence on Russia.
In just under a year, three floating terminals were built, granted permission and have entered operation in the ports of Wilhelmshaven, Brunsbuettel and Lubmin, helping Germany to avert an energy shortage last winter.
Berlin plans to replace some of its floating terminals with permanent stations from 2026 and has rejected environmental groups' criticism of excess planned capacity, saying the German ports will also supply European neighbours.
(Reporting by Markus Wacket Writing by Riham Alkousaa; editing by Barbara Lewis)