Scholz inaugurates 1st liquefied gas terminal in Germany

Dec 16, 2022, 2:36 PM | Updated: Dec 17, 2022, 4:39 am
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, center, listens during an event in front of the 'Hoegh Esperanza' Fl...

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, center, listens during an event in front of the 'Hoegh Esperanza' Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) during the opening of the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) terminal in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, pool)

(AP Photo/Michael Sohn, pool)

              A worker walks past a gas tube that connects the 'Hoegh Esperanza' Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) with main land during the opening of the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) terminal in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, pool)
            
              German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, front, and German Finance Minister Christian Lindner visit the 'Hoegh Esperanza' Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) during the opening of the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) terminal in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, Pool)
            
              The 'Hoegh Esperanza' Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) is anchored during the opening of the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) terminal in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, pool)
            
              German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, center, listens during an event in front of the 'Hoegh Esperanza' Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) during the opening of the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) terminal in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, pool)
            Front from left, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner and German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck arrive for a visit at the 'Hoegh Esperanza' Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) during the opening of the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) terminal in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, pool) From left, German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, laugh as they pose in front of the 'Hoegh Esperanza' Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) during the opening of the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) terminal in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, pool) German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, second left, German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck, right, and German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, left, listen during an event in front of the 'Hoegh Esperanza' Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) during the opening of the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) terminal in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, pool)

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday inaugurated Germany’s first liquefied natural gas terminal, declaring that the speed with which it was put into service is a signal that Europe’s biggest economy will remain strong.

The top three officials in the government — Scholz, Economy Minister Robert Habeck and Finance Minister Christian Lindner — attended the inauguration in the North Sea port of Wilhelmshaven in a sign of the importance that Germany attaches to several new LNG terminals that it is scrambling to build following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The terminals are part of a drive to prevent an energy crunch that also includes temporarily reactivating old oil- and coal-fired power stations and extending the life of Germany’s last three nuclear power plants, which were supposed to be switched off at the end of this year, until mid-April.

Scholz announced days after Russia invaded Ukraine in February that the government had decided to build the first two LNG terminals quickly.

“When we said that, for example, such a terminal should be built here in Wilhelmshaven this year already, many said that’s never possible, that would never succeed,” the chancellor said at Saturday’s ceremony. “And the opposite is true.”

Port facilities were completed a month ago and a specially equipped ship, a so-called “floating storage and regasification unit,” docked on Thursday with 165,000 cubic meters of LNG. The Economy Ministry said that regasification is expected to start in the coming days and “regular service” in January.

Two more terminals are slated to open this winter, with another three expected to be available next winter. Scholz said their total capacity will be well over half the amount of Russian pipeline gas that was supplied last winter.

Sluggish planning processes have long been a concern in Germany. Scholz proclaimed on Saturday that “this is now the new German speed with which we are moving infrastructure forward.”

“This is a good day for our country and a good signal to the whole world that the German economy will be in a position to continue being strong, to produce and to deal with this challenge,” he said.

Efforts to make Germany independent of Russian gas were well underway before Russia started reducing supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which was its main supply route, in mid-June. Russia, which used to account for more than half of the country’s natural gas supply, hasn’t delivered any gas to Germany since the end of August.

Scholz underlined the importance of pursuing Germany’s transition to renewable energy sources, and stressed that a new pipeline to Wilhelmshaven was planned in such a way that it can in the future be adapted to transport hydrogen.

Still, the new gas terminals have drawn criticism from environmental groups.

And while they have broad mainstream political support, a leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany party, Tino Chrupalla, argued on Saturday that the Wilhelmshaven facility wouldn’t solve the energy crisis and called for the government to drop sanctions against Russia.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - An American flag is flown next to the Chinese national emblem during a welcome ceremony at t...
Associated Press

US moving ahead on plan to down Chinese balloon over ocean

The Biden administration is moving forward with a plan to shoot down a large Chinese balloon suspected of conducting surveillance on the U.S. military, by bringing it down once it is above the Atlantic Ocean where the remnants could potentially be recovered, according to two U.S. officials.
13 hours ago
In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Northwest, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer reac...
Associated Press

Man rescued by Coast Guard wanted in ‘Goonies’ fish incident

A man who was saved by a Coast Guard rescue swimmer at the mouth of the Columbia River as a massive wave rolled the yacht he was piloting Friday was wanted for a bizarre incident in which police said he left a dead fish at the Astoria, Oregon, home featured in the classic 1985 film, "The Goonies."
13 hours ago
FILE - An Amazon company logo on the company's building in Schoenefeld near Berlin, Germany, March ...
Associated Press

Amazon violated labor law with delivery app

A Spanish court has ruled that Amazon broke labor laws by forcing more than 2,000 delivery drivers to use an app that the company controlled for scheduling work and payments and requiring them to use their own cars and cellphones on the job.
13 hours ago
Members of the ground crew secure the site after a United airlines flight made an emergency landing...
Associated Press

Engine problems force Vegas-bound flight to land in Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A United Airlines flight headed from Chicago to Las Vegas made an unplanned stop in Nebraska on Saturday after the pilot reported engine problems. Mark Grant, a communications operator at the Lincoln Airport, said 326 passengers and crew members were aboard the Boeing 777 when it took off from O’Hare International […]
2 days ago
CORRECTS TO KINGSTOWN, NOT KINGSTON - In this photo provided by Brian Branch, a large balloon drift...
Associated Press

Eyes on the sky as Chinese balloon shot down over Atlantic

Eyes were locked on the Carolina skies Saturday as the suspected Chinese spy balloon that traversed the U.S. over the past week drifted over the Atlantic Ocean and was shot down by a fighter jet. In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a crowd lining the beach boardwalk cheered as the balloon was struck by a missile […]
2 days ago
A woman clears debris from a landscape of charred remains in Santa Ana, Chile, Saturday, Feb. 4, 20...
Associated Press

Chile wildfires spread amid heat wave as death toll rises

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chile extended an emergency declaration to yet another region on Saturday as firefighters struggled to control dozens of raging wildfires that have claimed at least 22 lives amid a scorching heat wave that has broken records. The government declared a state of catastrophe in the La Araucanía region, which is south […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Scholz inaugurates 1st liquefied gas terminal in Germany