German utility EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG could buy natural gas from a proposed import terminal in the country near Stade after committing to shunning supplies from Russia.

Germany LNG

EnBW signed a memorandum of understanding with the developer Hanseatic Energy Hub to possibly buy 3 billion cubic meters/year (Bcm/y) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) after it ramps up, which could be in late 2026. Further talks are scheduled.

EnBW CEO Frank Mastiaux in March said the company wouldn’t pursue future Russian contracts and is diversifying its sources of coal and natural gas “as swiftly as possible.”

“Enhancing security of supply without neglecting climate action is now the main challenge for the joint efforts of business enterprises and policymakers,” Mastiaux said.

Last year, the utility received about 20% of its gas from Russia. EnBW has 5.5 million customers throughout Western Europe. It has committed to being carbon-neutral by 2035 and shifting more than half of its generation portfolio to renewables by the end of 2025.

As Europe faces a volatile energy market in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, EnBW said it selected the Stade facility in part because of its design to be a zero emissions facility.

Representatives with the utility told NGI that along with the terminal in Stade, it is also “examining” other “market opportunities both in Germany and in northwestern Europe.”

Hanseatic said it plans to submit approval documentation for the proposed 12 Bcm/y terminal and port around mid-April. At full regasification capacity, the company said the terminal could possibly handle up to 10% of Germany’s gas needs.

The largest shareholders in Hanseatic are Germany’s Buss Group GmbH & Co. KG, Fluxys Belgium SA and private equity firm Partners Group Holding AG.

The terminal has approvals for infrastructure that could handle bio-gas and synthetic methane, as well as LNG, in its first phase. Hanseatic also could import ihydrogen products in the future.

The crunch to diversify gas portfolios and secure import capacity in Europe has brought attention to other German import projects. In March, Shell plc committed to a “substantial part” of the capacity at a developing terminal in Brunsbüttel, Germany.

EnBW told NGI that as it pushes to diversify its LNG procurement portfolio, it also expects its volumes of imports each year to expand. The utility purchased more than a dozen LNG cargoes last year.

“Our LNG activities are an increasingly important alternative,” representatives from EnBW told NGI. “These open up access to new sources of supply from internationally active exporters.”

At its annual conference, EnBW indicated that it was “well positioned” to make some of the critical changes required in the face of gas supply pressure, or even an impending halt to Russian supplies.