(Bloomberg) — Germany is looking to open in early 2024 a controversial LNG terminal linked to infrastructure from Russia’s now decommissioned Nord Stream natural gas pipeline network.
Officials discussed the plan Thursday night in a closed-door meeting with Prime Minister Olaf Scholz and Economy Secretary Robert Habeck, according to representatives of the four organizations present in the room.
“A pipeline will feed into existing gas infrastructure in Lubmin from spring 2024, referring to the connection point on the main land where the dormant Nord Streams also end,” Habeck said.
Representatives from the World Wide Fund for Nature, conservation group BUND and German Environmental Action confirmed the comments. A spokesperson for Baltic Sea Resorts also verified Habeck’s comment.
Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is trying to improve energy security as the region recovers from a historic supply crisis in the aftermath of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia severely restricted the flow of gas to the region last year, including through the Nord Stream link to Germany. That network later went down due to a mysterious explosion.
Read: Nord Stream mystery brings infrastructure scare
Germany is heavily reliant on LNG to fill the energy supply gap, especially due to the closure of the last remaining nuclear power plants this month. It opened three floating LNG terminals, with more expected. However, those plans have been met with resistance from local groups due to environmental concerns, with some promising legal action if the Baltic station goes ahead.
The Economy Ministry said on Thursday that the government has purchased the idling pipes of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to build a terminal off the island of Ruegen.
On Friday, a ministry spokeswoman said she could not confirm Habeck’s comments on the timing but added: “According to our information, both the Prime Minister and Minister Habeck have emphasized urgency to act.”
The country’s gas industry also warned of supply shortages next winter.
—With support from Josefine Fokuhl and Michael Nienaber.