(Adds quote, detail, NordStream 2)
BERLIN, Feb 12 (Reuters) - German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Tuesday he was optimistic that Germany would build two terminals in the foreseeable future to import liquefied natural gas (LNG).
As Germany phases out nuclear power and coal, it is increasingly turning to gas to compliment renewable energy sources. It is under pressure, especially from the United States, to cut its dependence on Russian gas and buy in LNG.
Altmaier told a meeting with German and U.S. energy officials and industry lobbyists that Germany was weighing up the extent of state subsidies and regulations before private investors build the terminals needed for LNG imports.
Of three sites under consideration - Brunsbuettel, Stade and Wilhelmshaven - Altmaier was confident terminals would be built at two in the foreseeable future.
“All three projects are (being) carefully considered and examined,” he said. “I am quite optimistic that at least two of the terminals will be realised within a very foreseeable period of time.”
Altmaier made clear that the question of LNG was a separate issue to Nord Stream 2 pipeline, backed by Germany, which will bring Russian gas to Europe under the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukrainian pipelines.
Ukraine is concerned that the 1,225 km (760 mile) pipeline will lead to a dramatic loss in transport revenues but Germany is trying to reassure Kiev that gas will still be transported from Russia through Ukraine’s existing pipeline.
“The intention is to come as soon as possible ... to a new agreement between Russia and Ukraine,” he said. (Reporting by Madeline Chambers and Paul Carrel Editing by Michelle Martin and Louise Heavens)