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Mukran in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: The federal government had already included the port in the LNG Acceleration Act in the summer

Photo: Stefan Sauer / dpa

The controversial liquefied natural gas terminal on the island of Rügen is to be put into operation in January, initially with a regasification plant (FSRU). According to the State Office for Agriculture and the Environment in Stralsund, Deutsche Regas intends to operate only the special vessel "Transgas Power" in the industrial port of Mukran for the time being. In the original application to the licensing authority, two of these FSRU installations were listed.

The company, which already operates a terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Lubmin, Western Pomerania, chartered Transgas Power in October. The tanker, which sails under the Maltese flag, can transport 174,000 cubic meters of liquefied natural gas itself and convert the liquefied natural gas delivered by tankers into up to 7.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year when used as a converter station.

Terminals for importing liquefied natural gas are intended to secure gas supplies to Germany and other countries after Russia stopped operating by pipeline last year. Plants have already been launched in Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbüttel on the North Sea as well as in Lubmin.

The planned LNG terminal is meeting with resistance, especially locally. Critics point out that the existing terminals have only been used to 58 percent capacity so far this year, so further facilities will only create overcapacity. For Rügen, they fear irreparable damage to nature and tourism.

Doubts about the timetable

In the summer, the federal government had already included the port of Mukran on Rügen in the LNG Acceleration Act. The move allows the time-consuming environmental impact assessment to be omitted, provided that the faster approval helps to manage or avert a gas supply crisis. With accelerated approval, the LNG terminal "could be put into operation as early as the coming heating season," the operator Deutsche Regas advertises.

But there are serious doubts that this will work. At the beginning of November, Deutsche Regas announced that the import capacities in Mukran "are expected to be used from April 2024", which would not be until the end of the heating season.