Germany: “Rare Goods” Gas

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The German minister activated the emergency stage of the emergency plan

Natural gas “It’s a rare commodity for Germany from now on (…) It’s not a game”. With this statement the Minister of Economy and Climate Protection Robert Hubeck announced that the second stage is activated of the gas contingency plan, due to reduced supplies from Russia and significant price increases. “It’s a financial attack on Putin. “Gas and energy are being used as weapons against Germany,” he said, adding that “the situation is tense but security of supply remains guaranteed.”

Mr Habeck warned for “shocks” in the gas market and for new price increasesemphasizing that “Even if the supply and storage of natural gas continues, the situation is serious and winter is coming.” He clarified, however, that at the moment the provision that utility companies can pass on the increased costs to customers with an existing contract will not be automatically activated. “The country is heading towards a difficult situation. It will be a difficult road. Even if you still do not feel it, we are in a gas crisis. Gas from now on is a rare commodity (…) It’s not a game. Prices are already high and we must prepare for more increases “which will affect industrial production and burden many consumers, the minister continued.

“We must not have illusions: the reduction of gas supplies is an economic attack by (Vladimir) Putin against us. It is his strategy, in order to fuel uncertainty, to raise prices and to divide us as a society. That’s what we’re dealing with now. “, noted the Minister of Economy and clarified that the current situation is not responsible for the internal energy market of Germany, but only Moscow, while he spoke of a wrong policy of Germany’s excessive dependence on Russian energy and lack of available alternatives to renewable energy sources. “This is now taking revenge on us,” he said characteristically.

The decision to activate the second phase was taken due to the reduction of gas supply from Russia to the German-Russian pipeline Nord Stream 1 in the Baltic Sea. Last week’s downturn is already causing a tense situation in the gas market, Robert Hubek explained, adding that it is considered a predictable and new burden, as maintenance work on the pipeline has been scheduled for ten days since July 11th.

At the moment, the top priority is the filling of the storage tanks, the minister said and stated that gas storage facilities are 60% more full than they had in the same period last year. However, if deliveries through Nord Stream 1 remain below the 40% level, he estimated that it will be difficult to achieve the desired fullness of 90% in storage without additional measures by December.

The German gas contingency plan consists of three phases: In the first phase of the early warning, which Germany has already activated on 30 March, no action is taken other than to intensively monitor supply and market developments. In the second stage of the alarm, which is activated now, due to the reduced deliveries and the price spike, the possibility of the utility companies to pass on to the customer the increased costs in order to reduce the demand and to prevent the shortage in the future. . Activation of this stage is a precondition for measures, such as the operation of more coal-fired power plants, in order to save gas. The relevant legislation is expected to be passed by the Bundestag on July 8. In the third phase of the emergency, the Federal Grid Service may impose restrictions on gas consumption, even a ticket. Priority is given to critical infrastructure, followed by households and finally industry.

Today, the Minister of Economy called on the consumers to contribute to the savings of natural gas already from the summer, “by regulating the heating and proceeding to its adjustment, before the winter comes”. The amounts of energy and money that can be saved in this way are very important, he stressed.

In the same vein, Finance Minister Christian Lindner warned of problems with gas supplies for the next 3-5 years and problems with the supply chain due to high inflation. “My concern is that in a few weeks or months we could have a very worrying situation,” Lindner told ZDF. German stations still in operation “.

The ruling coalition is expected to discuss next Wednesday measures against rising pricesespecially for energy.

Source: ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ

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