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LNG terminal off Rügen: Federal government continues to see bottlenecks in gas supplies

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LNG terminal off Rügen: Federal government continues to see bottlenecks in gas supplies

The alarm level of the gas emergency plan, which has been in effect since summer 2022, will not be ended for the time being. The Federal Ministry of Economics announced this in its response to a parliamentary question from AfD member of the Bundestag Leif-Erik Holm. The gas supply situation remains tense compared to pre-crisis levels, the letter says. The commissioning of the controversial Rügen terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) is also “required as essential and necessary insurance against a possible gas shortage or even a gas shortage”.

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The federal government’s assessment therefore contradicts the view of experts at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW). They have recently observed a significantly more relaxed situation on the gas market. The DIW said that a gas shortage that would justify the accelerated expansion of LNG infrastructure never occurred. The planned expansion of LNG import capacities is no longer necessary to this extent. DIW expert Claudia Kemfert recently told the newspapers of the Funke media group that it was time to cancel the gas emergency plan.

A speech that Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) recently gave in the Bundestag also sounded like an end to the emergency. “The energy supply is secure, the storage facilities are full even at the end of the second winter,” said Habeck. Gas prices have recently fallen to the level before Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

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New LNG terminal is intended to support European energy supplies

AfD MP Holm criticized the traffic light coalition for sticking to the alert level and the Rügen terminal. “Extremely costly excess capacity is being created, which also endangers the environment and important tourism on Rügen,” he said. According to the operator, the terminal should be ready for operation shortly.

In its response to Holm’s question, the federal government pointed out that there are sometimes major difficulties in ensuring energy supply security in other EU states. The Mukran terminal location on Rügen is “very important for the national and European energy supply”, particularly due to the feed-in option in eastern Germany.

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Supporters of the terminal had repeatedly pointed out the situation in neighboring states to the east and south. According to the Federal Network Agency, if the remaining Russian gas deliveries are stopped, other countries would have to be supplied. According to the state government, Austria, for example, continued to receive 98 percent of its gas imports from Russia in December 2023.

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The alarm level of the gas emergency plan, which has been in effect since summer 2022, will not be ended for the time being. The Federal Ministry of Economics announced this in its response to a parliamentary question from AfD member of the Bundestag Leif-Erik Holm. The gas supply situation remains tense compared to pre-crisis levels, the letter says. The commissioning of the controversial Rügen terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) is also “required as essential and necessary insurance against a possible gas shortage or even a gas shortage”.

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