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Rising gas import demand to support energy company's projects

Germany’s single biggest customer of Russian gas, Uniper, said a growing import gap in Europe was supporting its strategy for pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, which were making good progress.

“We assume that there will be additional gas import demand of 150 billion cubic meters per year by 2030 in Europe,” chief financial officer Christopher Delbrueck said at a news conference on the presentation of its 2018 earnings.

He cited the loss of the major Dutch Groningen field, moves to shed coal burning and nuclear energy, and the intermittent nature of growing renewable energy that required more gas burning as a transition fuel toward a green future.

Investment decisions for the Wilhelmshaven LNG terminal project, where Uniper will be a facilitator, would be taken by year-end, Uniper expects, hoping to arrange more prebooking of capacities soon.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline project for Russian gas, where Uniper is one of five western shareholders, was far advanced while needing further clearance by Germany’s energy regulator, Delbrueck said.

Reporting by Vera Eckert; editing by Thomas Seythal

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