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Gas supply: Habek signs energy partnership with Qatar


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According to Federal Economy Minister Robert Hebeck (Greens), gas supplies to Germany have not yet been secured. Therefore, Habek went to Qatar to reduce its dependence on Russian gas.

To reduce Russia’s dependence on gas, the Economy Minister turned to Qatar. During his visit to the Gulf, Hebek concluded a “long-term energy partnership.” His expectations have been high.

BEconomy Minister Robert Hebek (Greens) has agreed to cooperate with the Emirate of Qatar in the search for an alternative to Russian gas, which, among other things, guarantees the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG). During talks with the Emir of Qatar, the “long-term energy partnership” between the two countries was decided, Hebek said in Doha. Companies coming with the Minister in the Business Council to the Gulf should negotiate contracts for additional LNG supply. Apart from Hebek, representatives from RWE, Eon and Uniper traveled to the Middle East over the weekend.

Energy partnership means “under the best of circumstances, we can guarantee on a contractual basis that we can provide something with the expansion of European and, above all, German infrastructure,” Hebeck said. Infrastructure expansion, especially the previously missing German LNG terminals, is now under construction as soon as possible.

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“There is no point in setting up gas-fired terminals and gas pipelines,” the minister said. Until now, planning and construction took more time. “We are operating under great pressure to use all legal options to expedite this,” Hebeck said.

Contracts should be designed so that delivery takes place as soon as the terminals are completed. The exact delivery sizes and times were discussed with Emir, but Habek did not want to be named when asked.

Qatar is one of the world’s largest natural gas suppliers and aims to double its production capacity from 2025. “Maybe it could be done a bit faster,” Hebeck said. However, the partnership is not designed to change Russia’s dependence on Qatar’s dependence. “We need diversification, which means: one country or one region will not change another,” the minister said.

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Although more than 50 percent of the gas consumed in Germany comes from Russia, in the future each region will be responsible for a maximum of ten to 20 percent of imports, which can be replaced if a supplier fails.

“We need to position ourselves broadly,” Hapek stressed. Prior to his visit to the Gulf, the Minister visited Norway to discuss additional gas supplies with the Norwegian government. Canada and the United States are considered potential suppliers.

Hebek said his expectations on the trip had risen as Qataris had also signaled that it would like to work with German companies on climate protection projects. “The sun is shining, there is energy,” the minister said.

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Emirate wants to participate in renewable energy production. The Minister is looking forward to such cooperation for green hydrogen production with the United Arab Emirates, which he will visit on Monday.

He also spoke in support of the US Alliance, but said that maintaining some independence was not the answer. “The Qatari side said: ‘We know we have to do something about it,” Hebek said. But one must also acknowledge that there has been early progress, with Qatar being the first Arab country Minimum wage Introduced and workers’ rights strengthened. There are no arms supplies as a trade against the desire to supply additional gas to Germany.

“We did not talk about arms distribution, and the arms industry played no role in the negotiations,” Hebek said. Existing export applications from the Emirate will be approved or rejected by the Ministry of Economy within the framework of applicable laws.

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