Status: 12/15/2022 3:46 PM

The Höegh Esperanza is moored at the new LNG dock in Wilhelmshaven with great safety precautions. The ship is the heart of Germany’s first LNG terminal.

In the afternoon, the approximately 300-meter privateer arrived at the Jade off Wilhelmshaven and proceeded to her future berth at a newly built small wharf north of the deep water port JadeWeserPort. Several police forces secure the site on the North Sea near the coastal town of Hooksell – on water, land and air. In addition to the police helicopters and water police boats that accompanied the “Höegh Esperanza”, there are also special forces on site. The public, however, was not allowed.

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The ship will be the heart of Germany’s first LNG terminal. Unrest from the activists was expected in advance. 1 minute

Police: There is no real danger

Acts of vandalism by climate activists were previously feared – but that did not happen on Thursday. She also added at noon that there was no tangible danger. “We are not aware of any disturbances today,” a police spokesman said.

The closure is in effect even after the opening ceremony

Regardless of this, safety precautions must continue to be adhered to. Protests, in particular, are expected on Saturday, when the opening ceremony of the hall is scheduled. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), Federal Minister for Economics Robert Habeck (Green) and Prime Minister of Lower Saxony Stefan Weil (SPD) are expected among others. Near the Voslapper Groden handling facility of station operator Uniper, many roads were closed until Saturday including – especially in the Baederstrasse district. In addition, the prohibition of flying drones within a radius of 2.5 kilometers is enforced.

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The photo shows a graphic depicting a floating REW LNG terminal.  © RWE

“Höegh Esperanza” will be running before Christmas

With the arrival of the ship, the Wilhelmshaven LNG station became a home stretch. On Thursday a week later (December 22), gas will be pumped into the German network from the station for the first time. The “Höegh Esperanza” with a length of 294 meters and a width of 46 meters is used both as a floating tank and for the vaporization of liquid natural gas delivered: the LNG is gasified while on board and pumped ashore. Höegh Esperanza already brings in 170,000 cubic meters of LNG. The ship will remain permanently docked in Wilhelmshaven and serve as a floating platform for landing LNG transported by tankers and converting it back into a gaseous state. From mid-January, additional carriers are scheduled to deliver LNG to Wilhelmshaven.

Environmentalists criticize the discharge of chlorine into the North Sea

Environmentalists criticize the fact that “Höegh Esperanza” is planned as the first LNG (liquefied natural gas) import terminal. Because in 2019, the Australian authorities refused the ship because its pipelines had to be kept clear with the help of chlorine. This is then directed without explanation into the North Sea near Wilhelmshaven. It is said to contain about 35 tons of chlorine per year. Environmentalists warn that the Wadden Sea would be polluted, even if the chlorine was diluted significantly. Environmental organizations like BUND and NABU have announced that they will carefully examine permits that have been available to the public since Monday — and reserve the right to sue.

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Das Terminalschiff Hoegh Hope.  © Manuel Hernandez Lafuente, Photo: Manuel Hernandez Lafuente

The Uniper operator should clean its systems differently, and is asking for German environmental assistance. (10/24/2022) More

Environment Minister Meyer: Threshold values ​​are observed

The Ministry of the Environment of Lower Saxony indicates intensive scrutiny of environmental and safety standards by the authorities. Environment Minister Christian Meyer (The Greens) said all applicable limit values ​​would be complied with. Discharges into the sea will remain as low as possible. Aquatic environmental monitoring will also be intensified “in order to rule out any deterioration in the environmental situation,” says Meyer. Environmentalists counter that the planned water monitoring is “just a drop in the ocean”, says Holger Buchmann, head of the state of NABU in Lower Saxony. The habitat of many animal and plant species, some of which are already endangered, will be destroyed in the middle of the UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea.

LNG terminals in Germany

  • “Höegh Esperanza” is the heart of the LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven, the first in Germany. The ship, built in 2018, is 294 meters long and 46 meters wide. It has been leased by energy supplier RWE on behalf of the federal government for at least ten years.
  • The ship, which belongs to the Norwegian shipping company Höegh LNG Holdings, is scheduled to remain permanently at the berth in Wilhelmshaven and serve as a floating platform for offloading LNG delivered by tankers and converting it into a gaseous state.
  • According to the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, “Höegh Esperanza” re-gases and feeds five billion cubic meters of LNG annually. About 96 billion cubic meters of natural gas is consumed in Germany each year.
  • Eleven LNG terminals will be built nationwide. Eight of these stations are private charter vessels. In addition to Wilhelmshaven, they are due to be based in Stade, Luubmen (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) and Brunsbüttel (Schleswig-Holstein). The federal government wants to lease five of the so-called FSRUs. The Federal Ministry of Economics has estimated the costs of floating LNG terminals at up to €9.7 billion for the period from 2022 to 2038.
  • Three permanent stations will be built on the ground by 2026 (Wilhelmshaven, Stade and Brunsbüttel). The annual capacity of all plants shall be 73 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

More information

Pipeline tubes lead to a construction site behind the dam to connect the LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven.  © Hauke-Christian Dittrich / dpa Photo: Hauke-Christian Dittrich / dpa

1 minute

The worker declared this to Uniper. The liquid gas is converted into a gas and fed into the German network. (10/12/2022) 1 min

In Friedburg, work is underway on the Wilhelmshaven Connection Line (WAL).  © dpa-Bildfunk Photo: Sina Schuldt / dpa

The pipeline now connects to the existing gas network. The first natural gas could flow before Christmas. (12/12/2022) More

Höxel: Boris Pistorius (M, SPD), Minister of the Interior for Lower Saxony, sits in a helicopter of the Lower Saxony Police before starting a sightseeing flight over the LNG terminal.  © picture alliance / dpa Photo: Hauke-Christian Dittrich

The Minister of the Interior immediately had an idea. A large number of police officers were deployed to protect the facilities. (07.12.2022) More

"It operates on liquefied natural gas" Standing on the hull of a loaded container ship. © picture alliance Photo: Christian Charisius

LNG should help Germany out of the energy crisis. The first stations are being built in the north. What are the advantages and disadvantages? more

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NDR 1 Lower Saxony | Regional Oldenburg | 12.15.2022 | 3 o’clock

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