German LNG terminal group at Brunsbuettel seeks building permission

FRANKFURT, June 24 (Reuters) - A group behind a terminal project to import liquefied natural gas into Brunsbuettel on the German North Sea on Thursday said it will file an application to authorities by the end of June for planning permission, in a decisive step for the project.

Apart from the terminal construction itself, the application includes a jetty with two berthing facilities for ships up to Q-Max size, the largest LNG carriers worldwide, as well as facilities for distributing LNG by trucks, rail tank cars and smaller ships, German LNG Terminal GmbH said in a statement.

The group is a joint venture of Dutch gas network operator Gasunie (GSUNI.UL), German tank storage provider Oiltanking GmbH, and Dutch storage company Vopak LNG Holding (VOPA.AS).

LNG projects in Germany have been delayed because the region is well supplied with pipeline gas from Russia and Norway while more lately, the future of natural gas supply chains has become controversial amid tighter climate protection legislation.

But utility RWE (RWEG.DE) - which trades gas worldwide among many other generation, renewable and trading activities and is a backer of Brunsbuettel - said in April it had alternatives for its envisaged role of placing capacities at the terminal.

It could become a handling facility for hydrogen shipments for the post-fossil fuels future, it has said. read more

Hydrogen is considered "green" when produced from renewable power such as wind or sunshine through electrolysis.

The European Union is promoting its use as an alternative to coal and gas-derived hydrogen, and also as a substitute for oil and gas products in manufacturing, heating and transport.

RWE in April signed a memorandum of understanding with an Australian firm with a view to possibly bringing solar-derived hydrogen to Europe.

German RWE rival Uniper (UN01.DE) is separately also considering converting its coal-fired power plant site at Wilhelmshaven on the North Sea into a hydrogen hub. read more

Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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