AAt the end of the two-day trip by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) to the Gulf, there are actually deals. In Abu Dhabi, RWE has signed a contract with the state-owned company ADNOC for 137,000 cubic meters of liquid gas. Deliveries are scheduled to begin later this year. It will be the first liquefied gas to be made available to the German gas market via the import terminal in Brunsbüttel.
It is expected in the port of Hamburg at the beginning of 2023. In addition, there is a declaration of intent for further LNG deliveries in the coming years, which should start in 2023. In addition, the Hoyer company and ADNOC agreed to purchase more than 33,000 tons of diesel, which are to be delivered in September. Further diesel deliveries of up to 250,000 tons per month have been announced. The fact that the French energy company Total announced a gas deal for 1.5 billion euros with the country on the very day that Scholz visited the Emirates in the Gulf can be seen as a less than friendly stepping stone from the outside.
Third stop: Qatar
It is important to rely on as many suppliers as possible for the energy supply, Scholz emphasized on Sunday morning in the emirate. Dependence on one supplier “will certainly not happen to us again,” he said, referring to Russia, which used to account for 55 percent of German gas imports. According to him, it is now a matter of advancing the capacities for liquid gas in the world in order to be able to meet the high demand. The German politician was accompanied at the weekend by a high-ranking business delegation: Christian Bruch (CEO of Siemens Energy AG), Guillaume Faury (Chief Executive Officer of Airbus SE), Christian Klein (CEO of SAP SE) and Stefan Wintels (Head of the state development bank KfW ) were there to initiate or expand business in the Chancellor’s entourage.
At noon the Federal Chancellor flew to Qatar, the third stop on his trip. Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani was only in Berlin with Scholz in May. An energy partnership was signed with the promise of wanting to work more closely together in this field in the future. First stop was Saudi Arabia. The conversation with the Saudi heir to the throne, Muhammad bin Salman, was politically explosive. The prince rose to notoriety after the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul. He is considered the mastermind behind the serious crime in which the body was dismembered in the Saudi Arabian consulate. The meeting with the prince took place behind closed doors. Photos of the greeting show Scholz politely shaking hands. Later, when asked if he also raised the issue of Khashoggi’s murder at the meeting, he said, “You can rest assured that there was nothing that needed to be said that went unaddressed.”
The focus of the conversation between the two politicians was on economic policy issues, as was subsequently reported. The heir to the throne spoke at length about his ambitious goals for his country, as was subsequently reported. Today Saudi Arabia accounts for 30 percent of the world’s oil supplies, and in the future it should account for 30 percent of energy supplies. The country has great potential for renewable energy and hydrogen production. The conditions in the Gulf are so favorable that it should be possible to produce electricity with sun and wind for just 1 cent per kilowatt hour.
There are similarly favorable site conditions for the production of “green” hydrogen at a competitive price in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. After the trip, the chancellor’s office hopes for long-term contracts with the substance that is supposed to keep German industry running when the age of gas, oil and coal finally ends – and for good business from German suppliers in the construction of the new production facilities on the Gulf .