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Germany takes first cargo of LNG

The shipment came from the Calcasieu Pass export terminal in the United States.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner (L-R), Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck attend the opening ceremony of Germany's first LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. File photo by Lars-Josef Klemmer/EPA-EFE/POOL
1 of 2 | German Finance Minister Christian Lindner (L-R), Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck attend the opening ceremony of Germany's first LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. File photo by Lars-Josef Klemmer/EPA-EFE/POOL

Jan. 3 (UPI) -- A few short weeks after opening the first regasification facility, Germany on Tuesday received its debut cargo of liquefied natural gas, marking a boon for regional energy security.

The LNG supply vessel Maria Energy loaded up at the Calcasieu Pass export terminal in Louisiana on Dec. 19 carrying enough gas to meet the demands of around 50,000 average German households for an entire year.

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She arrived Tuesday at an LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven, operated by German energy company Uniper. Uniper is converting liquid gas back to its gaseous form using an offshore floating, storage and regasification unit dubbed Hoegh Esperanza.

"The use of LNG as a reliable energy source is crucial for the Security of Supply for Germany and Europe," said Niek den Hollander, the chief commercial officer at Uniper. "We are committed to contribute our part by bringing more LNG to the European market and especially Germany via the Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbuttel regas terminals."

Hoegh Esperanza moored off Germany mid-December following the completion of a pipeline connected to the mainland. The regasification facility was built in less than a year and "shows what Germany can achieve within a few months if it has to," Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said.

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Germany before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine received almost all of its gas via pipeline from Russia and Norway. Alternate supplies from the likes of the United States are now taking up some of Russia's market share as a result of sanctions related to the war in Ukraine.

U.S.-based Venture Global operates the Calcasieu Pass export terminal. During the week ending Dec. 21, the last full week for which the federal government has data, 26 vessels departed U.S. LNG export terminals for foreign shores. Three of those left from Calcasieu Pass.

"As strategic partners, we look forward to providing long-term security of energy supply to our allies through the continued delivery of clean and reliable U.S. LNG," Venture Global CEO Mike Sabel said.

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