Dutch energy companies can apply for a subsidy to fill the gas storage in Bergermeer, the cabinet announced on Friday. A European directive obliges countries to have an average of 80 percent gas of their storage capacity, in case Russia suddenly turns off the gas tap. EUR 406 million is being earmarked for the scheme.
Due to the high gas price, it is currently not interesting for energy companies to store gas. After all, if the price drops in the coming months, they will have purchased very expensive gas that they will have to sell for a much lower price.
That is why the cabinet is now introducing a scheme whereby the government pays the storage costs and compensates for the difference between the current prices and the possibly lower prices next winter. Companies must declare an amount that they believe will cover storage costs and the government chooses the companies with the lowest amount.
The application takes place in two rounds. Next Monday, thirty-five companies that already have an agreement with gas storage Bergermeer can submit an application. They may then compete for the remaining capacity that has not yet been allocated. In the second round, on June 7, it will be up to twelve companies that have already rented space, but have not yet stored anything. In total, this involves 20 terawatt hours of space.
Gazprom is also involved
If it eventually turns out that all companies together cannot achieve 20 terawatt-hours of capacity, the state-owned company Energie Beheer Nederland (EBN) will fill in the rest. The storage should be 68 percent full by November. That is less than 80 percent, but because the two other gas storages are completely filled, the average of 80 percent is still achieved.
The gas storage in Bergermeer is a collaboration between Taqa Energy from Abu Dhabi and EBN. The Russian state-owned company Gazprom is also involved. There are two smaller gas storage facilities in the Netherlands: in Norg and Grijpskerk.