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    Germany Spearheads European LNG Spending: GlobalData


Despite concerns over shrinking gas demand, Europe is planning an LNG import splurge.

by: William Powell

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Germany Spearheads European LNG Spending: GlobalData

New-comer Germany will drive growth in Europe's liquefied natural gas (LNG) import capacity in the years 2019 to 2023, according to research published August 14 by GlobalData. The two planned terminals will contribute around 31% of Europe's total growth, it said.

The company's report shows that Germany, which now has no terminals, is expected to have new-build regasification capacity of 635bn ft³ (18bn m³)/yr by 2023. That implies an EU total of almost 2 trillion ft³/yr more capacity, even though its current facilities are generally under-used and there is much concern about the future of gas in Europe generally. The European Investment Bank is planning not to lend more money to fossil fuel projects from the end of 2020.

GlobalData analyst Dipayan Chakraborty said Wilhelmshaven Floating LNG and Brunsbuttel are the two upcoming announced regasification terminals in Germany during the 2019 to 2023 period. Both are expected to start operations in 2022, with Wilhelmshaven expected to add the highest regasification capacity of 353bn ft³/yr by 2023."

Neither has taken final investment decision yet, but both have customers prepared in principle to help finance the construction with advance bookings. At Wilhelmshaven, the project's initiator Uniper has started an open season but has already lined up ExxonMobil for a significant chunk of the capacity. However Uniper is not planning to operate the terminal in the long-term. That will be Mitsui OSK Lines' role, subject to the final investment decision.

Following Germany, GlobalData identifies Spain as the second highest country in terms of regasification capacity growth in Europe, although it already has the most terminals. It will add 339bn ft³/yr by 2023. Spain's El Musel terminal is expected to have the highest capacity among planned and announced terminals with 247bn ft³/yr of capacity by 2023.

Chakraborty concludes: "Croatia has no active regasification terminals currently. The country is expected to add all of its new-build capacity growth from two planned regasification terminals, Croatia Floating and Hrvatska by 2023. Of these, the Hrvatska terminal is expected to have the highest regasification capacity of 211.8bn ft³ by 2023."

Despite plentiful Russian pipeline gas availability through TurkStream 2 before that date, NGW has reported that the government is prepared to spend up to €100mn on the 92bn ft³/yr floating terminal at the island of Krk, with approval from the European Commission's competition directorate. The EC will supply a similar amount of the €233mn cost from its Connecting Europe Facility.