No stopping for methane. On Monday, Tuesday, Greenpeace activists tried in vain to prevent the installation of a floating LNG terminal in Le Havre. It is a project led by TotalEnergies and wanted by the government to secure gas supply.
Two Greenpeace zodiacs joined the LNG carrier Cape Ann in the Bay of Seine. Having failed to get on board, activists then painted on its hull "gas kills" in large white letters, observed an AFP journalist. Then, in Le Havre harbour, two divers took to the water to hinder the progress of the LNG carrier, which entered the port shortly before 12 noon.
From Russian gas to Le Havre gas
For the government, this project aims to create a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) entry point in France to strengthen the security of gas supply, which had been under great tension in 2022 after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. The France already has LNG entry points in Dunkirk (Nord), Montoir-de-Bretagne (Loire-Atlantique) and Fos-sur-Mer (Bouches-du-Rhône).
This gas, transported in liquid form by ship and regasified before being injected into the terrestrial grid, has become a crucial energy source for Europe, which depended 40% on Russian gas before the conflict in Ukraine. The TotalEnergies project in Le Havre was authorized in July 2022 for a period of 5 years, "as a precautionary measure", according to the Ministry of Energy Transition.
Maintenance of a dependence on fossil fuels
Cape Ann has a capacity of 5 billion cubic meters per year, equivalent to 10% of French demand. "But we don't need these new capacities," said Jérôme Frignet, Greenpeace's director of programs, who therefore asks that "this terminal not be connected to the grid". "Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, France has managed to reduce its gas consumption by 15%, and we see that in 2023 the trend is also towards a reduction (...) and we already have stocks full for the winter, "he added during the action of Le Havre.
This terminal will be "mainly supplied by the United States and in particular by shale gas produced by hydraulic fracturing, a technique banned in France," accuses Jérôme Frignet. Several elected officials and environmental organizations had challenged in court the arrival of the LNG terminal, believing like Greenpeace that it maintained dependence on fossil fuels responsible for global warming. All their appeals were dismissed.
- Le Havre
- War in Ukraine