Open Grid Europe (OGE), Germany's largest pipeline operator, is planning to build a 30-km liquified natural gas link from the prospective new LNG terminal in Germany's deepest port in Wilhelmshaven. The link will run from Wilhelmshaven to NETRA ((Norddeutsche Erdgas Transversale), a long-distance pipeline taking gas further south and east, reaching NETRA at a point near the Etzel underground storage facility.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has supercharged the Wilhelmshaven development, with a now all -out effort to wean Germany of its dependency on Russian gas and entertain alternative sources of gas, like LNG from around the world.
"The planned gas infrastructure in the Wilhelmshaven region secures a reliable and affordable gas supply from other sources and thus serves social peace and security of supply in Germany," said Thomas Huewener, OGE's technical director. The pipeline is expected to have initial capacity of 10 billion cubic metres (bcm), potentially increasing to 28 bcm with further expansion of the network over the next few years, OGE said.
The other critical piece in developing this facility is, of course, the onshore terminals to regasify the cooled LNG. To accelerate the process, Uniper, a Duesseldorf energy company, proposes a floating LNG storage platform to land the LNG and transform it into its gaseous and pipeline transportable state.
Uniper had worked for years on developing a floating platform but decided in 2021 to cease further work on the project. Russian aggression in Ukraine as well a request by the German government to revive the company's work led to the re-think.
The line planned by OGE would also be designed in such a way to allow transportation of so-called green hydrogen, which is produced using renewable energy.