[Berlin, 23rd Reuters]–On the 23rd, the German Ministry of Economy issued a second-stage “warning” in a three-stage emergency plan on natural gas in response to supply cuts and soaring prices from Russia. However, the provision to pass on the soaring gas prices to consumers has not yet been activated.
It was judged that there is a high risk that the gas supply shortage will be prolonged. The first stage announcement was at the end of March.
Economic Minister Habeck criticized Russia as “reducing gas supply is an economic attack by Putin (President of Russia).” He wants to avoid introducing a gas rationing system, but the possibility cannot be ruled out, he said.
“Gas will be a scarce resource in Germany in the future. Since summer has already begun, we have an obligation to reduce gas consumption,” he emphasized.
Russia’s state-owned Gazprom last week reduced its supply of Nord Stream 1, which sends natural gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea, to just 40% of its capacity, and Germany was expected to move to the second phase of its emergency program. ..
Russia claims it is unintentional, saying it is reducing supply due to delays in receiving repaired equipment due to sanctions in Western countries. The Presidential Administration of Russia announced on the 23rd that the country is “strictly fulfilling its obligations” in Europe.
In the second phase, the government will provide a credit line of € 15 billion ($ 15.8 billion) for gas storage. A gas bidding model is scheduled to begin this summer to encourage the industrial sector to save gas.
Mr. Habeck is not yet at the stage of invoking a clause to pass on soaring gas prices to businesses and households, but it could be if supply tightness and high prices remain high and the power company’s deficit becomes serious. Said there is.
The German Association of Public Corporations (VKU) has told the government that if subsidies do not protect consumers, low-income individuals will not be able to pay utility bills and electricity and gas companies may go bankrupt.
Klaus Müller, head of the Federal Network Agency, said gas prices could triple.
Germany’s natural gas imports fell 22% year-on-year in January-April, while imports surged 170%, according to data released today.
* Add a category and resend.