(Bloomberg) -- Germany is seeking to open by early 2024 a controversial LNG terminal linked to infrastructure from Russia’s now-defunct Nord Stream natural gas pipeline network.
Officials discussed the plan Thursday evening during a closed-door meeting with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Economy Minister Robert Habeck, according to representatives from four organizations that were in the room.
A “pipeline will feed into the existing gas infrastructure in Lubmin from spring 2024,” Habeck said, referring to the connection point on the main land where the idled Nord Stream lines also end.
Representatives from the World Wide Fund for Nature, the conservation group BUND, and Environmental Action Germany confirmed the comments. A spokesman for Baltic Sea Resorts also verified Habeck’s remarks.
Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is trying to improve its energy security as the region recovers from a historic supply crisis in the fallout of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia severely curbed gas flows to the region last year, including through the Nord Stream link to Germany. That network was later rendered inoperable by a mysterious explosion.
Read: Nord Stream Mystery Brings Infrastructure Fears to Surface
Germany is relying heavily on LNG to fill its energy supply gap, especially due to the closure this month of its last remaining nuclear power plants. It has opened three floating LNG terminals, with more expected. However, those plans have been met with protests from local groups due to environmental concerns, with some promising legal action if the Baltic terminal goes forward.
The government has purchased idled tubes that belonged to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to build a terminal off of Ruegen Island, the Economy Ministry said Thursday.
On Friday, a ministry spokeswoman said she couldn’t confirm Habeck’s comments on the timing but added: “According to our information, both the Chancellor and Minister Habeck stressed the urgency to act.”
The nation’s gas industry also warned of supply shortages next winter.
--With assistance from Josefine Fokuhl and Michael Nienaber.
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