In addition to promoting Nordstream II – the new pipeline currently under construction to bring Russian natural gas to the German market – Germany recently announced plans to build two LNG import terminals. Three North Sea ports — the medieval city port of Stade, Brunsbüttel and Wilhelmshaven — have declared their interest to house the terminals. Whichever wins the contract will need substantial federal government funding, which, early indications suggest, will be readily available.
The timing of the German announcement coincides with vociferous opposition to the Russian pipeline from formerly communist east European countries as well as the United States. The latter’s opposition is twofold. First, the U.S. wishes to gain access to the German market for its burgeoning LNG exports, and secondly there are energy security concerns posed by increasing reliance on Russian pipeline gas in Europe as a whole.