Dow Takes Stake in German LNG Terminal

14.04.2022 - With all European energy discussions now focusing on dramatic cuts in supplies of Russian gas, Dow Chemical is taking an undisclosed minority stake in an import terminal for US liquefied natural gas (LNG) that is planned to be built on its own chemical complex at Stade on the German North Sea coast.

Along with land, Dow will also contribute infrastructure services, off-gas heat, site services and mutual harbor use rights to the project expected to be completed by 2026. The terminal also will repurpose off-gas heat at the Dow site for the carbon emissions-free regasification of the liquefied gas back to its gaseous state, the group with European headquarters at Horgen, Switzerland, said. A final investment decision is expected by 2023.

With a projected regasification capacity of 13.3 billion cubic meters of gas per year, the chemicals giant said  the harbor facility to be operated by Hanseatic Energy Hub GmbH (HEH), a consortium, of Dow, Fluxys, Partners Group and Buss Group, could satisfy up to 15% of Germany’s current natural gas requirements annually. Additionally, it could meet nearly 25% of the recent US commitment to increase LNG supplies to Europe.

Under the influence of the increasingly brutal war in Ukraine, the European Commission and the US in March signed an agreement on European Energy Security. This calls  for shipment of 50 billion cbm of US-made LNG from various American ports to Europe by 2030 to substitute Russian gas. 

"This collaboration to construct an LNG import terminal in Germany takes a major step in enabling a stable, cost-effective and sustainable supply of energy to Europe," said Neil Carr, president of Dow Europe, Middle East, Africa and India. "For Dow, this allows us to make a significant contribution to transforming the energy supply in Germany in support of its 2045 climate targets while increasing the competitiveness of Stade, a site important for serving Dow customers throughout Europe."

Carr was referring to plans to Germany’s plans, drawn up before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, to transition away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy sources after already phasing out coal and nuclear power. The war has left the country’s government with no choice but to pivot away from the recently completed but not yet commissioned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline connecting it with Siberian gas fields.

Calculations show that Germany currently draws about half of its natural gas via pipeline from Russia. Up to now, it has had no LNG regasification and import facilities. As the Russian pipeline neared completion, the government of former chancellor Angela Merkel rejected a proposal by former US president Donald Trump to switch to buy US-made LNG instead.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist