FSRU Arrives in German Port of Lubmin to Start LNG Imports
In an intricate maneuver that lasted approximately 10 hours, Germany’s second FSRU unit was moved into position in the Port of Lubmin today. The operation is being set up by Deutsche ReGas in the eastern port near the terminus of the Nord Stream pipelines. The plan is to link the vessel to the existing infrastructure and possibly by the end of the year begin the import of LNG.
“We are delighted that the Neptune is now in Lubmin,” said Dr. Stephan Knabe, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche ReGas. “Once they have reached the prepared berth, she will be moored according to regulations and promptly connected to the shore connection line, so that we can start the first tests immediately for the LNG terminal. Our goal is to get on with this as soon as possible to start the gas supply. But the commissioning can of course only take place when all the necessary permits have been obtained.”
The Neptune is on charter from TotalEnergies with the owner group represented by Höegh LNG Partners, but unlike the five vessels planned for western Germany, this project is privately funded. Built in 2009 by Samsung Heavy Industries, the 81,000 dwt vessel has a capacity of 145 cbm and regas capacity of 750 mmscf/d.
The industrial port at Lubmin is restricted in its size and depth for vessels so the intricate plan called for the vessel to be prepared in the nearby port of Mukran, where it has been since late November. This included reducing the FSRUs’ draft from 9.6 meters to around 5.2 meters and fitting a pipe adapter to connect the FSRU to the existing gas network.
The Neptune was towed to Lubmin by six tugs which were used to position the vessel on to the pier. She is the largest vessel to enter the port. The Neptune will supply the regasification capabilities with the LNG being offloaded to an FSU offshore and ferried in on smaller carriers. Reports indicate that the carriers and the first cargo of LNG are also underway for Lubmin. Deutsche ReGas says up to 5.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas can be fed through the terminal each year using this system.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is scheduled to kick off the operations on Saturday in Wilhelmshaven at the first of the FSRU units making up the government’s import plan to replace Russian gas supplies. The Chancellor has said through a combination of these imports and restarting old coal and oil-fired power plants, Germany will meet its energy needs while permanent solutions are established.