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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Gas reserve law planned to come into force in May

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Berlin (dpa) – Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) wants to accelerate the development of the planned national gas reserve in Germany. The corresponding law must be approved no later than April and enter into force on May 1.

According to a document from the Ministry of Economy, this is necessary so that the entire summer semester is available to fill the storage tanks. The “Rheinische Post” reported on it first.

The first consultation on the draft of a law introducing fill level specifications for gas storage facilities is scheduled for this Thursday in the Bundestag.

Specifically, the so-called market area manager, a subsidiary of all gas pipeline operators in Germany, will be obliged to gradually fill gas storage facilities up to 90 percent before December 1, 2022. The filling level should reach 65 percent on August 1 and 80 percent on October 1.

The purpose of the gas reserve is to guarantee that the gas storage tanks are always sufficiently full, as can be seen from the pillars of a law. It states that gas storage facilities in Germany are essential for the supply of gas in the winter months. They could offset demand peaks during cold spells and thus ensure a constant supply of gas.

Storage levels were historically low this winter. This applies in particular to the storage facilities of the Russian state-owned company Gazprom. This is one of the reasons why prices on short-term trading venues have risen sharply. When demand peaked, hardly any additional gas was offered from storage facilities: “This situation at storage facilities must not be repeated next winter.”

According to the document, the costs incurred by the intervention instruments must be transferred to the users of the network. The amount can hardly be predicted at this time because it is not possible to estimate how many interventions the market area manager will have to carry out. “Since gas is withdrawn again during high price phases, especially in winter, even profits can be made and thus relieve gas customers.”

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