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Filling of the gas storage tanks on schedule – nevertheless alarm mood


The gas storage facilities are currently well filled with 91.5 percent of their capacity. However, the suppliers see no reason to give the all-clear.

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Gas storage facility in Bad Lauchstädt: Very low consumption by industrial customers

Photo: Jan Woitas / dpa

Despite a total filling level of over 91.5 percent, the gas storage association is skeptical as to whether the storage target of 95 percent by November 1st will be achieved.

"The increasing gas consumption due to falling temperatures is increasingly reducing the storage options," said Sebastian Bleschke, Managing Director of the Storage Association Initiative Energies Storage (Ines).

According to the Energy Industry Act, German storage facilities must be 85 percent full on October 1st.

The total filling level had already reached this mark on September 2nd.

»The very low consumption of industrial customers in the past few weeks and months has certainly made a very significant contribution to this.«

Bleschke said that for the Rehden storage facilities in Lower Saxony and Wolfersberg in Bavaria, it is foreseeable that neither 85 nor 95 percent could be achieved due to the technical possibilities for storage.

"In order to ensure higher filling levels, THE, as the sole user of this storage facility, should have made greater use of the available technical storage options over the past few months." Rehden is Germany's largest storage facility.

On Tuesday it was 76 percent full.

In addition to Wolfersberg, three smaller storage facilities were below 85 percent on Tuesday.

The Trading Hub Europe (THE) is responsible for the gas market organization as a joint venture of the German long-distance gas pipeline network operators.

Greatly reduced import possibilities

The storage facilities compensate for fluctuations in gas consumption and thus form a buffer system for the market.

They are usually well filled when the heating season begins in autumn.

The filling levels then decrease until spring.

However, the overall high fill levels are no reason for Bleschke to give the all-clear for the winter.

"Due to the continued severe reduction in gas import opportunities, it must be assumed that the gas storage facilities will be used earlier than usual and much more for supply in winter." Whether the reserves are sufficient will depend heavily on the extent to which private households reduce their consumption and liquefied gas could be imported.

"This means that ultimately the possibility of being able to meet the filling level specification of 40 percent on February 1, 2023 stands or falls."

The Federal Network Agency apparently even assumes that rationing will be necessary.

In the event of a gas shortage, the authority wants to give companies more time to prepare for reduced gas supply volumes.

"We want an advance warning system before the emergency level comes," said network agency president Klaus Müller of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung".

“This would give industry more time to ramp down production in an orderly manner.”

According to the information, indicators are to be developed that show at an early stage whether things are getting serious and whether a shortage may be imminent.

In this case, the network agency would become the federal load distributor, which would allocate gas to the companies, it said.

As Müller explained, the authority would initially work with percentage cuts for all around 40,000 companies that do not enjoy special protection.

In a second stage, there would then be individual reduction orders for the 2,500 largest industrial gas consumers.

Since September 1, Russia has stopped supplying gas to Germany.

Germany currently receives gas via pipelines from Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Deliveries from France are expected to arrive in October.

At the turn of the year, three terminals for landing liquefied natural gas (LNG) are to be put into operation on the North and Baltic Seas.


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-09-30

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