23 Jun 2023

Press release

Construction approval: Planning decision for the WAL II LNG pipeline link has been made

  • Lower Saxony’s State Office for Mining, Energy and Geology (LBEG) completes permitting procedure for WAL II and approves construction. 
  • WAL II will connect the second LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven with the gas transmission pipeline system by the end of 2023. 
  • New pipeline will bolster energy security and increase independence from Russia.

The Lower Saxony State Office for Mining, Energy and Geology (LBEG) has completed its planning procedure, approving the WAL II (Wilhelmshavener Anbindungsleitung II) pipeline project initiated by the project owner Open Grid Europe GmbH (OGE) on 24 March 2023.

The planning decision for WAL II provides the legal basis for the construction and operation of the new pipeline link. The procedure was conducted in accordance with the German Administrative Procedure Act (VwVfG) and included the participation of various authorities, public interest groups and affected citizens.

Construction on industrial estate near Wilhelmshaven

"With a length of just under two kilometres, WAL II is a comparatively short pipeline. However, it is central to the security of natural gas supply in Germany," said project manager Franz-Josef Kißing. With WAL II, OGE will connect the German natural gas network with the second LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven, which is scheduled to go into operation at the end of 2023. Preparations on the construction site have already begun following a preliminary approval granted in May. Now OGE can start laying the pipes. The entire pipeline will run through the Voslapper Groden industrial estate along the coast. "Residents will not be affected by the construction project," Kißing said. As always, OGE is committed to maintaining the highest standards in construction and operation and will especially focus on environmental aspects and the safety of the affected industrial companies and workers.

For a secure energy supply – now and in the future

With WAL II, OGE is following up on the success of its first WAL pipeline link which was completed in December 2022 at record speed – the ‘new German speed’. It connects Germany's first LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven with the transmission pipeline system and is central to Germany's energy supply.

The process towards a resilient and diversified energy supply doesn’t stop with WAL and WAL II. The current pipeline system in the region is almost fully utilised for natural gas volumes from Norway and the Netherlands. Full independence from Russian imports will require additional transmission capacities to be created. The Etzel-Wardenburg-Drohne pipeline will be another supply pipeline in Lower Saxony (approx. 140 km) and North Rhine-Westphalia (approx. 6 km). The project will involve two planning approval procedures, one for the section form Etzel to Wardenburg and one for the section from Wardenburg to Drohne.

All new build projects are designed to allow conversion to hydrogen.