Qatar eyes Germany's energy sector with 10 billion euro investment

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[September 07, 2018]   By Andrea Shalal and Riham Alkousaa

BERLIN (Reuters) - The Gulf state of Qatar on Friday said it would invest 10 billion euros ($11.6 billion) in Germany over the next five years, including the possible creation of a liquefied natural gas terminal.

Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani announced the funding boost for its long-term trading partner and Europe's largest economy at a bilateral investment conference in Berlin. Germany is Europe's biggest energy consumer.

The latest investment pledge comes on top of 25 billion euros Qatar has already invested in key German companies such as Volkswagen AG, Deutsche Bank and others.

"To express our trust in the strength of the German economy and the importance of investing in it, I announce the intention of Qatar to pump investments that amount to 10 billion euros into the German economy in the next five years," al-Thani said.

He said the overall volume of German-Qatari trade had dipped slightly in 2017 after doubling to around 2.8 billion euros, but he expected further growth in coming years.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the energy sector offered promising opportunities to expand business ties, adding that Qatar's LNG supplies would help diversify supply sources.

"From my point of view, the energy sector in particular offers considerable potential to expand our economic ties," Merkel told the emir and other conference participants.

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Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani and Berlin Major Michael Mueller attend a business conference in Berlin, Germany, September 7, 2018. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi

She said Germany was already linked with LNG terminals in the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland, but her government was working to expand the LNG network within Germany, and German companies were working toward a potential local LNG terminal.

Qatar's energy minister Mohammed al-Sada on Thursday threw his support behind the possible cooperation of Qatar Petroleum, the world's top supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG), in the project.

On Wednesday Qatar Petroleum said it was in talks with Germany's RWE and rival Uniper about the potential LNG terminal.

The German LNG Terminal consortium comprising Dutch gas network operator Gasunie, German tank storage provider Oiltanking and Dutch oil and chemical storage company Vopak are developing a plan with a funding decision due by the end of 2019.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal, Riham Alkousaa and Michelle Martin ; Editing by Tassilo Hummel and Elaine Hardcastle)

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