(Bloomberg) — Germany is still years from substituting Russian pipeline gas imports with liquefied natural gas capacities, according to estimates by the country’s Economy Ministry.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz told Bloomberg last week that the country had learned its lesson from being too dependent on Russia. The goal now was to build capacity that gives Germany the chance to have as much gas as it had before the invasion without importing from Russia, he said.
But it will take until 2026 for Germany to install 56 billion cubic meters of domestic LNG import capacity, about the same it imported by pipe from Russia in 2021, the Economy Ministry wrote in an answer to a set of questions by the Left Party. By 2030 those capacities are seen at 76.5 billion cubic meters, or about 80% of total German gas consumption in 2021.
So far, Germany has managed to reduce its reliance on Russia by cutting overall consumption, importing LNG via neighboring European countries and increasing pipeline deliveries from Norway and the Netherlands. Some of that supply is uncertain amid plans to shut down the key Groningen gas field next year.
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“The truth is, there won’t be enough in the next three to four years of LNG production capacity in the world to meet the growing demand,” Christian Leye, a Left Party lawmaker told Bloomberg. “So the unspoken strategy is that Germany will continue to pay crazy prices and other, less rich countries go empty-handed.”
A spokesperson for the Economy Ministry declined to comment further on the document.