Germany will likely build two terminals to import liquefied natural gas (LNG), Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Tuesday, in a move to appease the U.S. while Berlin also supports the Russia-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which has divided the European Union member states in recent years.
“Germany and the US share an interest in secure and dependable energy supplies,” the AFP quoted Altmaier as saying in a statement on Monday, on the eve of his meeting with U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette.
The U.S. has long opposed the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Several EU member states, including Poland and Lithuania, also see the new pipeline project as a threat to Europe’s energy diversification and as boosting Russia’s grip on European gas supplies even more.
Germany, however, is the end-point of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which will follow the existing Nord Stream natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea. Germany supports Nord Stream 2 and sees the project as a private commercial venture that will help it to meet rising natural gas demand.
Several European companies—ENGIE, OMV, Shell, as well as Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall—are partners of Russia’s gas giant Gazprom in the Nord Stream 2 project.
Speaking at an LNG Import Conference in Berlin today, German Economy Minister Altmaier said that all three proposed projects for LNG import terminals in Germany are being carefully considered.
“I am quite optimistic that at least two of the terminals will be realised within a very foreseeable period of time,” Reuters quoted Altmaier as saying.
The German minister also stressed that LNG terminals and imports are a completely separate issue from Nord Stream 2.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Brouillette tweeted from the Berlin conference: “Energy security requires energy diversity - a diversity of supply, countries providing that supply, and routes for that supply. The US supports Germany’s efforts to increase energy diversity through the construction of LNG shipping terminals - hopefully a destination for US LNG!”