Germany's Stade LNG project expects floating terminal in February

*Dynagas' Transgas Force expected to arrive next Feb*Floating LNG reception is forerunner for land-based hub*Further ahead, move to ammonia expectedBy Vera EckertFRANKFURT, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Germany's emerging liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the Elbe river port of Stade expects its floating regasification vessel (FSRU) to arrive in February, allowing seaborne gas cargoes to be fed into local pipeline grids, its management said on Wednesday.The move is part of Germany's quest to increase LNG import capacity so it can end reliance on Russian pipeline gas, which Europe has heavily depended on prior to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine last year."The Transgas Force (the designated ship) is anticipated to arrive in February and will remain for three years, ahead of the commissioning of a land-based regasification terminal," said Johannes Killinger, managing director and co-shareholder of operating company Hanseatic Energy Hub (HEH)."The final investment decision for that terminal will come within the next few weeks, there are only formalities left," Killinger told reporters.HEH last month reported it had buyers lined up for an equivalent of 15% of Germany's annual gas demand for the land-based terminal that is meant to replace the floating one from 2027.Further ahead, all parties active at the hub have options to participate in a potential later conversion to ammonia as a carrier for zero-carbon hydrogen imports, to move away from fossil gas imports and make the energy systems greener.HEH's LNG licences last until 2043 but a conversion much sooner was thinkable, Killinger said.Joerg Schmitz, senior adviser for LNG at nearby chemicals company Dow, which backs HEH's activities, said ammonia, when produced using renewable energy, can help the transition to a low carbon economy.Handling should become possible due to local expertise with saltwater electrolysis producing hydrogen to provide chlorine for Dow.Adjacent gas pipelines, electricity lines and storage infrastructure could all be adapted, he added. (Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Miranda Murray and Tomasz Janowski)