geopolitics-00145
Turkish stream 1 and 2

The United States and its liquefied petroleum (LNG) producers, who have been trying to increase its exports to the European market for years, will definitely not like the news, by gradually pushing cheaper Russian natural gas, which has long met about 35 percent of the EU’s total import needs. blue energy “.

The same, which she now desperately needs the EU as a transitional energy source (by far the cleanest of all fossil fuels) until the end of the so-called. energy transition, ie a complete transition to renewable and clean energy sources, which, as mandatory for all member states, is planned to be achieved by 2050.

One of the main projects, which would, not only Germany, but also wider within the EU, enable the aforementioned peaceful transition (given the abandonment of thermal power plants on fuel oil and coal, but also nuclear energy through the closure of existing nuclear power plants by 2030) nuclear energy is definitely the cleanest, and some EU members are announcing the construction of new nuclear power plants, such as Poland, or the expansion of existing ones, such as Hungary) – is the Russian Baltic gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, around which an unprecedented geopolitical battle between Washington and Berlin (Brussels).

Due to the enormous pressure of the USA, and with the aim of finding a compromise, the German federal government submitted a proposal to the Trump administration last year to build two LNG terminals in Germany for the import of American liquefied gas, and Berlin has already made such a decision. not built by the German state, but by private companies, Berlin forced domestic energy companies to look at it reluctantly given the expected unprofitability of likely low US gas orders from interested consumers given its price).

The construction of German LNG terminals for American gas was supposed to “soften” the extremely negative American attitude towards the completion of the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. However, neither the Trump administration nor this new one – Biden’s – gave in, moreover, they imposed new sanctions against not only contractors, but also all companies and individuals who in any way participate in the completion of this, for Germany and its energy security key project.


However, a new major turnaround seems to be taking place, not least in relation to Biden’s latest more conciliatory statements regarding Russia’s controversial energy project (due to the complex global geopolitical situation and the aforementioned wishes of American gas producers alike).

Namely, the news arrived yesterday that, instead of a terminal for receiving LNG from the United States, the German energy company Uniper (the same one that participates in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project) will build a center for importing raw materials for the production of “green” hydrogen in Wilhelmshaven. along the North Sea coast. The company announced that participants in the gas market did not show interest in importing liquefied gas. It was planned to build an LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven with a capacity of up to 10 billion cubic meters by 2023.

Uniper is now announcing the Green Wilhelmshaven project. The company said it would create a national hydrogen hub at the site of the planned LNG terminal and conduct appropriate research.

“A terminal for the import of green ammonia is planned. The plant will be equipped with an “ammonia cracker” to produce “green” hydrogen. The terminal will be connected to the planned pipeline network for hydrogen transport, ”Uniper said in a statement. The company added that the local coal-fired power plant will be closed by the end of the year, and a 410 MW “green” hydrogen production plant is planned to be built in its place.

“Combined with the import terminal, this will enable the supply of 295 thousand tons of green hydrogen per year or cover 10% of the demand expected in Germany in 2030,” the German company promises. The resulting hydrogen, which the European Union plans to use as one of its main energy sources instead of coal, oil and gas, will be supplied to local industry and the national gas pipeline system.

Uniper CEO David Brison said: “We will be very dependent on imports if we want to use hydrogen to meet our climate goals.”

The Wilhelmshaven terminal should be launched in the second half of the decade, depending on demand and export opportunities.

“Metallurgy is an industry in which hydrogen can play a key role in reducing emissions. Today, the production of each tonne of steel results in the emission of one tonne of CO2. Hydrogen is the only viable option for decarbonising this industry, ”said Axel Witfeld, CEO of Uniper Hydrogen.

Recall, last year from France also arrived bad news for American LNG producers. The state-owned energy company Engie (also a participant in the Nord Stream 2 project) said it had postponed signing a long-term deal to buy $ 7 billion worth of US LNG (we wrote about this on this portal). The postponement was insisted on by the French government, which believes that too much methane is emitted in the United States during gas extraction and processing.

Last summer, Gazprom indicated in its environmental report that gas through Nord Stream 2 is three times more environmentally friendly than US LNG gas.

Recently, expert conferences were held in Germany on the topic of hydrogen as a substitute energy source for fossil fuels, which were also attended by Russian experts. The two countries, among other things, plan to use the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the future for the flow of hydrogen to the EU, which would be produced in Russia and for which it has great potential.