Gas Prices On The Rise Due To Fears Of A Second Christmas Cold Snap

The Hoegh Esperanza is a floating regasification and storage unit named FSRU. It was moored at Wilhelmshaven on Thursday before an opening ceremony held on Saturday to be attended by the Chancellor named Olaf Scholz and the Economy Minister named Robert Habeck.

The laden vessel is possibly going to begin unloading cargo in the next week, and the future role will be to receive LNG from various seagoing vessels to pump into the onshore network of Germany.


Image credits : Bloomberg
Image credits : Bloomberg

 The ship’s arrival during the northwest first significant cold snap of Europe this winter highlighted the requirement for new gas supplies when Russia slashed deliveries in retaliation and support of Ukraine. The resulting jump in energy prices has pushed economies into recession, compelling governments to fast-track the use of floating terminals.

The German government has reportedly chartered about five FSRUs at about €9.7 billion, per the Economy Ministry, which is above the initial budget scheduled for floating facilities.

A private terminal based at the port of Lubmin and a state-rented facility based in Brunsbuettel will be the next to open this coming winter, per a ministry document observed by Bloomberg News.

The five vessels will reportedly be able to cover nearly one-third of Germany’s present gas demands, per government estimates. The extra gas will prevent Germany’s stocks from decreasing quickly amid the freezing temperatures driving heating demands. Hoegh Esperanza can help to replace approximately 11% of Germany’s gas imports from Russia, Uniper mentioned.

The terminals will help supply other European countries, particularly to the east, which are more vulnerable to lowered pipeline gas flows from Russia, per the ministry document. They will also help ease the congestion at other major European ports with a record wave of LNG imports.

FSRUs are generally moored permanently near the shore. An arriving carrier transfers LNG to the respective unit that saves and turns the cargo into a high-pressure gas. The ships tend to be cheaper, faster, and more eco-friendly to develop compared to onshore installations, though the capacity is significantly lower.

At the same time, investing in LNG is controversial in Germany as the nation has pledged to become climate neutral by 2045. Environmental groups state that the rush to end Russia’s gas dependency could lock the country into fossil fuels for even longer than needed.

The government reportedly rented the Hoegh Esperanza vessel for about ten years, FSRU provider named Hoegh LNG Holdings Ltd. mentioned in a statement. 

Another of the firm’s vessels, the Hoegh Gannet, is going to be set up in Brunsbuettel in January 2022, the ministry mentioned.

Uniper and RWE AG will initially operate the FSRUs in Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbuettel through a federal service deal. In the long term, the facilities’ operation will be coordinated by a new operating firm named the Deutsche Energy Terminal GmbH.

Per an accord that was signed with the Indian government in August, RWE, Uniper, EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG, and VNG AG is going to be responsible for temporary supply to two terminals.

Reference: yahoo, financialpost


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