Lack of facilities prevents Qatari gas from reaching Germany

March 04, 2013 - 12:36:21 am

BY MOHAMMAD SHOEB

DOHA: Germany is interested to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar but due to lack of availability of needful facilities, Europe’s biggest economy has not been able to source gas from Qatar. However, it is expected that Qatari gas might be reaching Germany in the years to come, H E Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohamed bin Jabr Al Thani, Minister’s Assistant for International Cooperation Affairs said in a press conference here recently.

According to statistics provided by Angelika Renate Storz-Chakarji, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Qatar, Germany exports goods and services worth over €1bn to Qatar while Qatar’s exports to Germany is only €83.3m, making the trade balance highly skewed in favour of Germany.

However, Saad Sherida Al Kaabi, Director of Oil and Gas Ventures in Qatar Petroleum added that both countries are working on the modalities to export gas to Germany to make the bilateral trade more balanced.

Germany is one of the largest consumers of energy in the world. It consumes over 100 billion cubic meters of natural gas every year constituting over 22 percent of the country’s total energy consumption. And a significant amount of the gas is currently sourced from Russia. However, after becoming Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel expressed concern for over-reliance on Russian energy, but she received little support from others.

In addition to the presence of German engineering and construction companies, among its exported items to Qatar include machinery, automobiles and a wide-rage of household appliances which are quite visible.

“Qatar is a very interesting market for us. Given all the big projects coming, there is a great interest in participating in the enormous development of the country,” said the German Ambassador on the sidelines of the press conference called by Qatar’s Foreign Ministry and Qatari Businessmen’s Association (QBA) to announce the date and venue of this year’s Business and Investment in Qatar Forum (QBIF) which will be held in Berlin from April 15-16. The upcoming Forum, to be held in the German capital will witness the presence of the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani, and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

It was announced by the Permanent Committee for Organising Conferences (PCOC) in collaboration with the QBA during the press meeting held  recently at the Sheraton Hotel, in the presence of Sheikh Ahmed, who is also the Chairman of PCOC.

Present were Abdullah Fakhro, Executive Director of the PCOC, Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, Chairman of QBA, Sheikh Thani bin Thamer Al Thani, Deputy Director General in Shell and Saleh Al Mana, Vice President of Government and Public Affairs at ExxonMobil Qatar as representatives of the main corporate sponsors, as well as representatives from the other sponsoring and organising companies.

Sheikh Ahmed discussed the importance of the Forum, which is held for the seventh year in a row, and its role in the promotion of business opportunities and investment in the Qatar.

During the two-day event, participants from both the countries will discuss on host of important issues and opportunities related to business, investment and economic diversification, including the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises and Qatar’s National Vision 2030. The Peninsula

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