Germany inaugurated its first liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal in Wilhelmshaven on Saturday morning, a project expected to supply around 6% of the country’s energy demand.
The newly opened Hoegh Esperanza is a 90 kilotonne shipborne regasification terminal which will be able to supply gas for 50,000 households a year.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz gave a speech at the opening, declaring that the speed of the plant’s construction is a sign that Europe’s biggest economy will remain strong in the face of an energy crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.
Addressing plant workers he said: "We decided very quickly that we wanted to do everything we could to ensure that we in Germany could also guarantee gas supplies independently of from Russia."
Just days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Scholz announced that the German government would aim to build two of the first LNG terminals quickly, as part of a greater drive to prevent an energy crunch which includes reactivating old oil and coal-fired power stations, and extending the life of Germany’s last three nuclear plants.
In 2023 Germany aims to open more floating LNG plants by the coasts of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, in Lubmin, Brunsbüttel, and Stade.
Scholz said: "When we work together we can do things at great speed: that's Germany's new tempo."