(Bloomberg) -- The German government plans to move a controversial floating liquefied natural gas terminal from the coastal town of Lubmin about 50 kilometers (31.1 miles) across Baltic waters to the island of Rügen, doubling its port’s planned capacity.

The vessel, known as Neptune, has been operational for barely five months, with Lubmin residents complaining about high noise levels. Sending it to Rügen’s Mukran port — where there are already plans for another LNG terminal — “would have significant economic and ecological advantages,” Economy Minister Robert Habeck wrote in a letter seen by Bloomberg. Deutsche ReGas, which operates Neptune, confirmed its involvement at Mukran port.

Habeck is traveling to Mukran on Friday for further talks on the plans, according to an Economy Ministry spokesperson. In the letter addressed to his regional state counterpart, he argued that the two floating storage regasification units could be positioned in such a way that the view would be minimally impaired.

Residents of both Lubmin and Rügen have complained about the environmental effects of the LNG facilities, and the Baltic island is concerned in particular about the repercussions for tourism. But Germany has embraced LNG as way to fill its energy gap after Russia cut pipeline supplies in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine last year. Three floating terminals are already operational in the country, including the one currently in Lubmin. 

Deutsche ReGas will be the government’s only partner in operating Mukran port’s infrastructure, Habeck said in the letter, and Gascade will be in charge of pipelines. Previously, energy giant RWE AG had been lined up to build a floating terminal there, but prepared to pull out of the project after disagreements over the exact location of the terminal. 

An RWE spokesperson confirmed that the company is not involved in the government’s plans for a floating LNG terminal at Mukran port.

--With assistance from Michael Nienaber and Josefine Fokuhl.

(Updates with RWE comment in sixth paragraph.)

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.