The federal government’s plans for a liquefied natural gas terminal at the Rügen site have been causing resistance on the island for months. On Thursday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) want to calm things down personally on site. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) has also announced that she will be attending a meeting with representatives of municipalities, business and associations in Binz (5 p.m.). Above all, the federal government is expected to provide evidence of an actual need for the terminal.

Under the impact of the energy crisis following the Russian attack on Ukraine, the federal government is energetically pushing ahead with setting up its own import structure for liquefied natural gas (LNG). In this way, missing gas deliveries from Russia are to be replaced. Import terminals were built in a very short time – on the North Sea, but also in Western Pomerania. In mid-January, Schwesig and Scholz opened a privately operated terminal in Lubmin.

As a further Baltic Sea terminal, a floating special ship chartered by the federal government for the landing and regasification of LNG is to be used off or on the coast of Rügen. The opponents on the island see this as a threat to the environment and tourism, which is particularly important for the island. For months they have been pulling out all the stops: demos, surveys, a Bundestag petition, statements and letters to Berlin, which, according to them, have remained unanswered to the end.

Irrespective of this, the federal government has recently continued to create facts. It was only announced on Monday that the federal government had bought unused pipes from the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea gas pipeline for the LNG terminal. According to earlier information from the state government of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Nord Stream 2 pipes with a total length of 60 kilometers are stored in Sassnitz on Rügen.

Meanwhile, it is still unclear exactly where the federal government intends to deploy its floating terminal. After vehement resistance, the federal government had moved away from a location about five kilometers from Sellin. The port of Mukran or a location further out on the Baltic Sea is also under discussion. “The location decision should be made as quickly as possible,” the Federal Ministry of Economics had recently announced.

The terminal is to be connected to the long-distance gas network in Lubmin in western Pomerania. Several pipelines that originally distributed tens of billions of cubic meters of gas from the German-Russian Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines meet here. From here, gas can be forwarded to southern Germany, among other places. According to the Federal Ministry of Economics, LNG infrastructure on the East German coast also creates import opportunities for Central and Eastern European neighbors who have previously been supplied with Russian gas and also have to compensate for these quantities.

Critics, on the other hand, speak of unnecessary overcapacities. The talks in Binz should not be easy. Municipalities in the southeast of the island spoke in advance of a long overdue dialogue. Your negative attitude to the project remains unchanged. Only on the eve of the talks did representatives of the pool association warn of possible negative consequences. The Baltic Sea resorts are threatened with the loss of their status with the terminals. This would have drastic consequences for Rügen as a tourist location, it said in a statement.