Germany is in talks with Canada about options to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe through a terminal on Canada’s east coast, a German government official told Reuters on Tuesday.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz discussed the issue with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of the summit held this week by the leaders of the Group of Seven Economic Powers (G7), two other sources told Reuters.
Berlin has rushed to phase out Russian energy imports after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and is looking for alternative supply routes and energy sources.
It has supported the construction of two LNG terminals and has leased four floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) as an emergency measure.
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In May, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson said the Canadian government was in talks with the companies behind two proposed LNG export facilities on the east coast to see how to accelerate the projects and boost supplies to Europe.
Canada, the world’s sixth largest natural gas producer, has no LNG facilities on the east coast and only one under construction on the west coast.
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“In terms of carbon footprint and proximity to European markets, Canadian east coast projects are very well placed,” said one of the sources.
The second source said Canadians were eager to develop new fields given high shale gas prices and recognized Germany’s reputation for being environmentally friendly.
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Germany consumes about 100 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas annually, of which about 55% comes from Russia and smaller volumes via pipelines from the Netherlands and Norway.
Spanish oil giant Repsol’s regasification plant on Canada’s east coast, through which it imports into the United States, may have installed liquefaction capacity to export directly to northwestern Europe, an industry source said.
Trudeau’s office was not immediately available for comment.
Repsol told Reuters it is continuously exploring options to maximize the terminal’s value, with a particular focus on new low-carbon options to meet market demand.
“The company will look at all activities that increase or create value at Saint John LNG, including the potential to add liquefaction capabilities to the existing facility,” it added.
(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa and Andreas Rinke in Berlin, Marwa Rashad in London and Isla Binnie in Barcelona; additional reporting by Steve Scherer in Ottawa; writing by Marwa Rashad; editing by Bernadette Baum and Richard Pullin)