Germany marked the start of construction work on Thursday for its first floating terminals for liquified natural gas (LNG) in Wilhelmshaven, a city and port located in Lower Saxony. The construction is part of the country’s efforts to become independent of Russian gas in the wake of the Kremlin’s ongoing war in Ukraine.
Germany is attempting to speed up the construction of the terminal in order to import LNG from various countries, including the US.
"We have a good chance to do what is actually normally impossible in Germany: To build an LNG terminal within about 10 months, and to connect it to the German gas supply," Germany's Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck said while watching the start of the construction work for the LNG terminal aboard a ship.
Germany has been under pressure from Ukraine and other nations in Europe to make progress in weaning itself off Russian energy supplies since the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Habeck last month called for unprecedented measures to reduce Germany's reliance on Russian gas and counter what some German politicians call the Kremlin's “energy blackmail.”
Habeck said becoming independent of Russian energy supplies is paramount for Germany, even if that meant pushing for alternative solutions previously considered ''unrealistic.'' Habeck added that Europe's largest economy has reduced the share of Russian energy imports from 35% to 12% for oil, from 50% to 8% for coal and from 55% to 35% for natural gas.