FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Qatar Petroleum , the world’s top supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG), is talking to German energy firms Uniper (UN01.DE) and RWE (RWEG.DE) about cooperating on a potential local LNG terminal, its chief executive told a paper.
“We have a serious interest in participating in a German LNG terminal and are talking to Uniper and RWE,” Saad Al-Kaabi told business daily Handelsblatt in an interview ahead of the Qatar Germany Business and Investment Forum in Berlin on Sept. 7.
Al-Kaabi said there were two ways of participating in an LNG terminal, either by securing capacity to open up supply, or by taking a stake in the terminal infrastructure.
“The builders of the terminal will have to think about which option they want, and we have to decide what suits us best,” he said.
A spokeswoman for RWE, Germany’s largest power producer, said talks with Qatar Petroleum were about potential gas deliveries to Germany, not about a shareholding in a potential German LNG terminal.
Germany, Europe’s largest energy consumer, shelved plans for an LNG terminal of its own a few years ago, with major operators participating in foreign projects - including Rotterdam’s Gate terminal - instead.
However, talks about installing an LNG terminal have been revived in the wake of increasingly dynamic global flows of the fuel and discussions about its use in shipping to meet looming requirements for cleaner fuels.
A consortium comprising Dutch gas network operator Gasunie , German tank storage provider Oiltanking and Dutch oil and chemical storage company Vopak (VOPA.AS), is currently trying to get such a project off the ground.
A funding decision by the consortium, dubbed German LNG Terminal, expected by the end of 2019.
Some policymakers favour LNG as a way of reducing Europe’s dependence on gas from Russia, which is pressing ahead with its Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
Uniper said it has repeatedly pointed out that a German LNG terminal would be beneficial in light of declining gas resources in Europe, adding that Qatar Petroleum subsidiary, Qatargas, had been a strategic partner for years.
“We are in constant contact with them. Such discussions are, of course, confidential,” the group said.
Reporting by Christoph Steitz, Vera Eckert and Tom Kaeckenhoff; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Louise Heavens