Germany moves towards first FSRU operation

Paul Gunton
Paul Gunton

19 December 2018

German energy company Uniper and Japanese ship operator Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) have reached an agreement that could see Germany’s first FSRU operation taking place in Wilhelmshaven in 2022.

In the project, MOL’s intention is to own, operate and finance the FSRU. Uniper as project developer will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities to receive the permits for the operation of the facility and to gather interest for regasification capacity from additional market participants. The project would allow Germany to receive LNG from all sources and therefore reduce its reliance on gas piped into the country from Russia.

The FSRU has a planned send-out capacity of 10bcm annually and an LNG storage capacity of 263,000m³. The facility could be in operation as early as the second half of 2022. The project benefits from the existing site in Wilhelmshaven where required infrastructure is already in place. Wilhelmshaven is the only German deep-water port and can be reached without any tidal constraints. In addition, Wilhelmshaven is closely located to the existing pipeline and gas storage infrastructure.

Keith Martin, Chief Commercial Officer of Uniper SE, stated: “We are glad that we were able to get such an experienced partner as MOL on board for the development of Germany’s first LNG terminal. Our partnership with MOL combined with the FSRU technology as well as Wilhelmshaven’s uniqueness in Germany, provide the fastest and most economical way to realise LNG imports directly into Germany. This will also be to the benefit of the end-customers.”

Takeshi Hashimoto, Senior Managing Executive Officer of MOL, stated: “We continue to support Uniper through our existing strong relationship and cooperation to secure Germany’s first LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven.”

In addition to the agreement in respect of the FSRU Wilhelmshaven, Uniper and MOL entered into a binding transportation agreement. Under the agreement MOL will provide Uniper with shipping capacity equivalent to a 180,000m³ LNG carrier. The agreement will commence in December 2020. Uniper intends to use the additional shipping capacity to optimise LNG volumes sourced from the US and to further leverage its expanding LNG trading activities. In 2015 Uniper contracted approx. 0.9mt annually of US LNG exports. The supply contract has a duration of 20 years.