A floating storage and regasification unit in the port of Lubmin in Germany is preparing to receive its first cargo of LNG.

The milestone comes as the country puts a second import terminal into operation in its moves to find alternatives to Russian pipeline gas.

Deutsche Regas, which is developing the private 5.2 billion cubic metres capacity Deutsche Ostsee LNG import project in partnership with French energy major TotalEnergies, confirmed data tracking evidence that the 10,000-cbm Coral Furcata (built 2011) had arrived at the 145,130-cbm FSRU Neptune (built 2009).

Eikland Energy’s founder Kjell Eikland said two tugs escorted the small-scale LNG carrier into the draught-restricted port of Lubmin.

The Coral Furcata loaded its shipment from the 140,500-cbm steam turbine LNG carrier Seapeak Hispania (ex-Hispania Spirit, built 2002), which is serving as a floating storage unit for the project.

A second LNG shuttle vessel, the 10,000-cbm Coral Favia (built 2010), is loading at the FSU.

The Seapeak Hispania, which is stationed at Rugen outside the port of Lubmin, arrived off the German coast 10 days ago with a cargo loaded in Egypt.

Terminal operator Deutsche ReGas said the LNG shipped in on Coral Furcata will be used as part of the test operation for the new terminal and will be transferred to the FSRU Neptune “as soon as possible”.

The company described the testing as “very extensive and complex” referencing the transfer operations between the FSU and small-scale ships at Rugen, manoeuvring them in the port of Lubmin and the interfaces between the shuttle vessels and the FSRU along with the regas unit and shore connections.

The chairman of the supervisory board of Deutsche ReGas Stephan Knabesaid Neptune is ready for commissioning and the first gas from these operations would be delivered to grid operator Gascade. He said commercial operations would start after completion of the test phase and receiving the operating license.

The FSRU Neptune was the first of at least six FSRUs to arrive off the German coast anchoring in November.

The unit was towed into the inner port of Lubmin on 16 December.

A second FSRU is expected to be stationed in Lubmin.

Germany’s first FSRU, the 170,000-cbm Hoegh Esperanza (built 2018), started operations in Wilhelmsen earlier in December. The new terminal will be operated by trader Uniper.

A third FSRU for Germany, the 170,000-cbm Hoegh Gannet (built 2018), is currently scheduled to arrive at RWE’s planned Elbhafen LNG terminal in Brunsbuttel on 15 January.

Another FSRU, the 150,900-cbm Excelsior (built 2005) is also due to arrive in Wilhelmshaven in early 2023 to support Tree Energy Solutions, E.ON and Energie import terminal project in the port.