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Interest in Germany's Stade LNG plant supports 'full planned capacity': developer

Highlights

Binding phase of open season to begin in Q2: HEH

Interest confirmed from 'very large' global players

Commercial operations expected to start in 2025

London — Hanseatic Energy Hub (HEH), the developer of the planned LNG import terminal at Stade in northern Germany, said Feb. 22 that the non-binding phase of its open season confirmed market interest from global players that supported the "full planned capacity" of the facility.

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The 12 Bcm/year onshore Stade LNG terminal is the largest of three LNG plants under consideration in northern Germany, according to the current project concepts.

The first, non-binding phase of the open season to gauge market interest in the Stade LNG terminal opened on Dec. 9 last year and ran until Feb. 15.

"The bids and volume requests we received confirm our proposal to base the development on 12 Bcm/year capacity," HEH Managing Director Manfred Schubert said in a statement.

"We continue to move ahead with our technical design and permitting according to schedule," Schubert said.

HEH said it would now work closely with potential customers to finalize the detailed commercial offering and "terminal user agreement" ahead of launching the binding phase of the open season in Q2 2021.

The binding phase will also be open to any further interested parties, it said.

Commercial operations at the project are set to start in 2025, HEH has said previously.

Interested parties

In September last year, HEH said it had already signed letters of intent with nine global market players interested in taking capacity at Stade.

In its statement Feb. 22, HEH said the first phase of the open season had attracted interest from "very large global players" that HEH had not previously signed letters of intent with.

Danielle Stoves, HEH's commercial and regulatory director, added that the non-binding phase of the open season had been designed not just to secure volume indications, "but to engage our potential customers and actively work on ensuring that we offer what they need to be successful."

The response, Stoves said, would give HEH a "head-start" on getting the first version of its terminal user agreement drafted.

Stoves told S&P Global Platts in September that Stade had a number of competitive advantages including that it will be located on a brownfield site at the Dow industrial park and be zero emissions as it will use waste heat from Dow's processes to re-gasify the LNG.

The other two planned German LNG projects have faced some obstacles in recent months.

Uniper said in November it was it was re-evaluating its planned 10 Bcm/year floating LNG import terminal at Wilhelmshaven after market players showed lukewarm interest in booking long-term capacity at the plant.

And a final decision on the planned 8 Bcm/year German LNG Terminal (GLT) at Brunsbuettel in northern Germany was pushed back from end-2020 to the first half of 2021.

Germany has no LNG import terminals at present, and there have been question marks about the need for a plant given how well the country is connected in Europe to numerous gas supply sources.