RWE Hands Over LNG Import FSRU Operation to German Government

Brunsbüttel LNG FSRU port
RWE in a public-private partnership established the LNG import operation with a FSRU in Brunsbuttel, Germany (Brunsbüttel Ports GmbH)

Published Dec 26, 2023 6:09 PM by The Maritime Executive


German energy company RWE at the end of the week will officially hand over operations of the LNG import infrastructure at Brunsbüttel near Hamburg to the German government marking completion of the project’s first phase. The terminal was rushed online as part of three initial FSRU projects designed to provide LNG import capabilities to replace the gas supply from Russia.

Nine months after coming online, RWE reports that the infrastructure is operating successfully and ready to be transferred to a newly formed company Deutsche Energy Terminal set up by the government specifically for the operation of the LNG terminals. The company highlights that the Elbehafen project was realized in record time. As intended, now that the operations are established, RWE says DET is taking over the LNG infrastructure and sole operational management in Brunsbüttel.

RWE stepped in to help the government create a new import capability and to ensure a steady supply of LNG. The company chartered two FSRU units on behalf of the government, with one, the H?egh Gannet, placed in Brunsbüttel. The vessel can handle up to 170,000 cbm gas deliveries from tankers and regasifies the delivery before feeding it into the Gasunie’s existing network. The vessel can also handle the importation of liquified petroleum gas.

To make the project possible, oil import operations had to be relocated within the port and new connections built to link the FSRU into the existing network. However, RWE highlights it is a strong location for the operation with its position near the mouth of the Elbe and proximity to the Kiel Canal and Hamburg. 

Regasification began in March 2023 and after further testing and certifications full commercial operations began in May. The plans call for the FSRU to be relocated to a new pier to be built by Brunsbüttel Ports. The new position will be at the western end of the port and provide a more permanent location for the FSRU.

This was one of the three FSRUs moved into service in a public-private partnership launched by the German government after the war began in Ukraine. FSRUs were also set up in Wilhamshaven and through a private investment in Lubmin in the east. Two other operations are also being developed in Mukran and Stade, as well as plans to expand the private operation in Lubmin.

RWE also has a plan to build a permanent terminal in Brunsbüttel. It is scheduled to be operational by 2026 both able to import LNG as well as to start the alternative energy operations. It will be an import location for green ammonia with a capacity to initially handle 300,0000 tons of green ammonia each year. The terminal will serve as a hub for the distribution of alternative fuel to German industry.