German Chancellor Olaf Scholz arrives in Saudi Arabia on Saturday for a two-day trip to three gulf nations. The trip is centered on securing Germany's energy security as it tries to distance itself from Russia over its war in Ukraine. Photo courtesy of Der Bundeskanzler/Website
Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Germany has entered into a new gas deal with the United Arab Emirates as it seeks to reduce its dependency on Russian fuel amid the Kremlin's war in Ukraine.
The Energy Security and Industry Accelerator Agreement was signed by dignitaries Sunday, the last day of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's two-day trip to three Persian Gulf nations with a focus on securing the European country's energy security.
Germany's energy provider RWE said in a statement that the agreement will see the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company ship 137,000 cubic meters of liquefied natural gas to Brunsbuttel, near Hamburg, in late December while MOUs were also signed on multi-year LNG delivers starting next year.
The announcement of the agreement comes after ADNOC completed its first-ever delivery of diesel fuel to Germany earlier this month, and the gas supplier has agreed to deliver up to 250,000 tons of diesel per month starting next year, the UAE state-run news agency WAM reported.
Scholz told reporters that he welcomes the deal, stating it will enable "the swift implementation of strategic lighthouse projects that focus on renewable energies, hydrogen, LNG and climate action."
Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE industry minister, said it was a "landmark new agreement" that "reinforces the rapidly growing energy partnership" between their two countries.
The agreement was signed prior to Scholz leaving for nearby Qatar and after his trip to Saudi Arabia on Saturday where Scholz met with President Mohamed bin Zayed on Sunday morning where they discussed a series of projects on the production and delivery of diesel, gas and LNG, the chancellor's office said in a statement.
"This is about improving the current delivery situation, expanding our possibilities so that we no longer limit ourselves to a few suppliers as in the past," it said.
Scholz's trip to the Persian Gulf comes as he seeks to secure gas sources as his country and the rest of Europe cuts themselves off from Kremlin fuel in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine in late February.
Prior to the war, Russia was the EU's main supplier of crude oil, natural gas and solid fossil fuels at a price tag of about $100 billion annually. In terms of supplies specifically to Germany, Russian fuel accounted for about 55% of its natural gas.
The deal with Germany on Sunday also came a day after France entered a $1.5 billion investment deal with TotalEnergies Qatar.