The Elbehafen LNG Project is located in Germany. (Credit: Brunsbüttel Ports/ © RWE)
The FSRU Hoegh Gannet arrived at Brunsbüttel. (Credit: © RWE)
The project was developed by Elbehafen LNG, a subsidiary of the German energy group RWE. (Credit: © RWE)

The Elbehafen liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal is located in the port city of Brunsbüttel in Germany.

The project was developed by Elbehafen LNG, a subsidiary of the German energy group RWE on behalf of the German Government.

Elbehafen uses a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU), a floating LNG terminal to facilitate the import of large amounts of LNG into Germany.

The project involves the use of a 300m-long vessel Höegh Gannet, which arrived at Brunsbüttel in January 2023. The vessel can store up to 170,000m3 of LNG.

After the arrival of FSRU, a several-week phase of commissioning and trial operations began. A month later, in February 2023, the terminal received its first shipment.

Höegh Gannet will receive LNG from tankers and then convert it into a gaseous state before feeding it into the gas grid.

The FSRU LNG Terminal project will be further expanded in multiple phases. After the completion of the third phase, the project will be able to use full FSRU capacities and can feed up to 7.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas into the gas grid.

Location details

The Elbehafen LNG Project is located in Brunsbüttel, a port town in the district of Dithmarschen, in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany. The town is situated on the mouth of the Elbe River near Kiel Canal.

The ChemCoast Park, an industrial zone in Schleswig-Holstein with energy infrastructure, is located next to Brunsbüttel port.

Elbehafen LNG Project details

The FSRUs are usually permanently moored near a port.

It can store LNG at -161oC in cryogenic storage tanks to keep the cargo in liquid state and converts it into gas before it is fed into the gas grid.

The development of the Elbehafen LNG Project is divided into three phases.

In phase I, which commenced in February 2023, the FSRU will be operated at Brunsbüttel Ports’ existing dangerous goods jetty in order to use LNG for gas supply as quickly as possible.

Normal port unloading operations such as LPG and crude oil will continue parallelly.

The crude oil will be handled at a different berth during this time and the unloading of LPG will take place as per the ship-to-ship principle across the FSRU.

The Phase II of the project is expected to start at the end of 2023. It will involve injecting LNG via a newly built jetty to the west of the Elbehafen.

Brunsbüttel Ports will be overseeing the construction of the jetty.

In the first two phases, gas network operator Gasunie will use a SW Netz’s pipeline network to transport the gas.

The feed-in will be around 3.5 billion m3 of gas per year (gas volume extracted from around 5.8 million m3 of LNG) due to infrastructural bottleneck.

In the third phase, gas volumes will be transported via the newly constructed gas connection pipeline ET180.

This will enable leveraging the full capacities of FSRU that will allow feeding around 7.5 million m3 of gas (gas volume obtained from 12.5 million m3 of LNG) annually.

FSRU details

Höegh LNG Holdings received the FSRU vessel Höegh Gannet in 2018.

The FSRU has regasification capacity of 1bcf per day and storage capacity of 170,000cbm of LNG.

Built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea, the vessel is equipped with a reinforced GTT Mark III membrane containment system and dual-fuel diesel-electric (DFDE) propulsion.

Contractors of the Elbehafen LNG Project

International specialist company Reganosa has been selected by RWE to operate the onshore infrastructure of the Elbehafen LNG project.

Reganosa will also supervise the work before commissioning of the facilities and maintain the plant in future.

Höegh LNG Holdings is the owner of the FSRU Höegh Gannet.

The company supplied the vessel for the project under a ten-year binding Time Charter Contract with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. Höegh LNG will manage the technical operation of the ship.

Marine Service was selected as the partner in the project to deliver technical know-how including necessary upgrading of the pier, required adjustments to the FSRU, LPG transfer, and technical and nautical measures for the interim solution until the commissioning of the new jetty.

Gasunie is building the gas connection pipeline for operating the terminal, while Covestro Industriepark Brunsbüttel will deliver the heat required for regasification in the form of warm process water via a warm water pipeline installation.

Energy terminal operator KN (AB Klaipėdos nafta) became the commercial operator of the Elbehafen LNG terminal in June 2023.