From Denmark to Portugal, Europe is stepping up efforts to emancipate itself from Russian gas – Europe

From LNG terminal projects in northern Germany, Finland or France to possible new routes via Spain or the eastern Mediterranean, Europe is working hard to emancipate itself from Russian gas, although the task will take years, experts say.

Laid not far from a muddy ditch, the big black pipes will soon be buried in this patch of land in Denmark. Long suspended, construction of a gas pipeline linking Norway with Poland resumed after the invasion of Ukraine. In Middelfart on the Danish island of Funen, work on the Baltic Pipe resumed last month to complete this nearly 900-kilometer link.

“It’s also about having the gas in the Danish system, but above all helping the gas system of our good neighbors and Polish friends,” explains Søren Juul Larsen, project manager at Danish operator Energinet Energy Infrastructure, to AFP.

Barely a week after the invasion of Ukraine, the Danish Environment Agency – concerned primarily about the project’s impact on native mouse and bat species – gave permission for construction to continue after a nine-month hiatus.

“We expected it to be approved soon, but of course it will the war has made the matter more urgent“says Trine Villumsen Berling, researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies.

Born almost 20 years ago, launched in 2018, the partially submerged project is now scheduled to enter service in October fully operational on January 1, 2023.

“We are working really well with all the contractors to speed up the work and are doing everything we can to stay on schedule,” assures Mr. Juul Larsen while showing the premises.

Nord Stream 2 discontinued

With an annual transport capacity of 10 billion m3 of gas, the gas pipeline should make it possible to guarantee half of the consumption of Poland, which three years ago announced the end of its extensive contract with Russian giant Gazprom in 2022.

but This good news for Warsaw could complicate deliveries for the rest of Europe, a sign of the complexity of deliveries on the continent.

Norway, Europe’s second largest gas supplier after Russia, is actually producing at full capacity and the gas arriving in Poland is therefore no longer sold in Western Europe. “This project should help Poland, but could lead to a drop in Norwegian gas exports to the UK and Germany,” said Zongqiang Luo, an expert at analyst firm Rystad.

In addition, many long-term contracts between Russia and European suppliers have another 10 to 15 years to run, he notes.

but According to the EU executive, the EU could completely do without Russian gas “well before 2030”..

With Norway running at full steam, reserves in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom declining, and Russia unwelcome, Europe is therefore seeking its gas remotely, with liquefied natural gas (LNG) that can be transported by ship and from the United States, Qatar or Africa is coming. but In order to import it, heavy terminals must be builtor at least buy Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRU) for imported LNG.

alternative routes

Given the abandonment of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia, the construction of which resumed in Danish waters last winter, Germany has therefore urgently restarted three projects for the construction of LNG terminals that were previously classified as non-priority. One could be ready by winter 2023/24, the other two not before 2026.

Finland, which is associated with Estonia, on Thursday announced a project to lease an import terminal vessel, while the three Baltic countries announced they have stopped importing Russian gas since April 1.

In southern Europe, Spain and Portugal are defending an alternative supply route for Russian gas. The port of Sines, the largest in Portugal, plans to double the capacity of its gas terminal in less than two years.

Linked to Algeria by a gas pipeline and equipped with huge LNG terminals, Spain could be an option. But this requires hard work to improve links with the rest of the EU via France.

Another avenue has also been blazed: to connect the gas from the eastern Mediterranean, which was discovered en masse off the coasts of Israel and Cyprus 20 years ago, to Europe.

Laid not far from a muddy ditch, the big black pipes will soon be buried in this patch of land in Denmark. Long suspended, construction of a gas pipeline linking Norway with Poland resumed after the invasion of Ukraine. At Middelfart on the Danish island of Funen, the Baltic Pipe site resumed last month to complete this nearly 900-kilometer link. “It’s also about having the gas in the Danish system, but mostly about helping the gas system of our good Polish neighbors and friends,” Søren Juul Larsen, project manager at Danish energy infrastructure operator Energinet, told AFP. Just under a week after After the invasion of Ukraine, the Danish environmental agency was particularly concerned about the impact of the project on the local population species of mice and bats – granted planning permission after nine months of construction pause: “We expected it to be approved soon, but of course it has war has made the issue more urgent,” says Trine Villumsen Berling, researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies. Born almost 20 years ago and started in 2018, the partially submerged project is now scheduled to become operational in October before being fully operational on January 1, 2023 put into operation will be on schedule,” assures Mr. Juul Larsen, describing the O rte shows. With an annual transport capacity of 10bn, its sizeable contract with Russian giant Gazprom will end in 2022. But this good news for Warsaw could complicate supplies for the rest of Europe, a sign of the complexity of supply on the continent. Norway, Europe’s second largest supplier of gas after Russia, ensures that it produces at full capacity and the gas arriving in Poland is therefore no longer sold in Western Europe. “This project should help Poland, but could lead to a drop in Norwegian gas exports to the UK and Germany,” says Zongqiang Luo, an expert at analyst firm Rystad. The relationship between Russia and European suppliers will run for another 10 to 15 years, but according to the European executive, the EU could completely do without Russian gas “well before 2030”: Norway is in full swing, deposits in the Netherlands and Great Britain are declining and Russia is undesirable, Europe is therefore looking for its gas from further afield, with liquefied natural gas (LNG) that can be transported by ship, from the United States, Qatar or Africa. But to import it, it is necessary to build heavy terminals, or at least to buy floating storage and regasification units (FSRU) for imported LNG.Faced with the abandonment of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia, the construction of which resumed in Danish waters last winter , Germany has urgently relaunched three LNG terminal installation projects that were previously considered non-priority. One could be ready for winter 2023/24, the other two not before 2026. Estonia-associated Finland on Thursday announced a project to lease an import terminal vessel, while the three Baltic countries announced they have since started importing of Russian gas have ceased April 1st. In southern Europe, Spain and Portugal are defending an alternative route for supplying Russian gas. The port of Sines, the largest in Portugal, plans to double the capacity of its gas terminal in less than two years. Spain could be an option as it is linked to Algeria by a gas pipeline and is equipped with huge LNG terminals. But that requires hard work to improve links with the rest of the EU via France, Israel and Cyprus.

Leave a Comment