With political tensions growing against Vladimir Putin’s government in Russia, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is looking at the possibility of encouraging businesses to invest in liquefied natural gas and establish an LNG industry in Germany.
Supplies of gas have been dwindling from the United Kingdom to the Netherlands that Germany has become dependent on Russia to provide for its energy requirements.
The initial framework for the LNG plan is to build terminals on the North Sea and Baltic Sea which could be used to import the fuel and at the same time bypass facilities in the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland.
The new coalition of Merkel includes an agenda to develop the LNG industry over the next four years.
Tensions have been brewing between Russia and the United Kingdom after a nerve gas attack that targeted Sergei Skripal, a suspected Russian double agent. Skripal was turned over to the UK in 2010 as part of a swap deal with the Russian government.
Upon examination of the gas used by a world class laboratory at Port Down, experts revealed that this particular type of nerve gas was developed by Russia.
There have also been increasing tensions between the United States and Russia over the former’s support of Turkey in the on-going conflict with the Russian backed government of Syria.
The use of natural gas also aligns with Germany’s goal of making the economy carbon neutral by the year 2050. Natural gas has been discovered to be less polluting than coal and oil.
And Merkel may have been encouraged by the growing popularity of LNG in the European continent. Imports of natural gas grew by 22% at the end of the third quarter last year with Spain and the United Kingdom the largest importers.
Merkel plans to allow German companies to use the Nord Stream 2 pipeline which is an expansion of an existing route for gas to come in from Russia to Europe via the Baltic Sea.
According to a study by Marex Spectron Group LTD, Russia accounted for more than 60% of Germany’s total imports of natural gas in 2017.