German government prepares for shortfall in gas supplies from Russia

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German government prepares for shortfall in gas supplies from Russia

Wed, 03/30/2022 - 08:17
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Robert Habeck - Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (© Shutterstock/Alexandros Michailidis)
Robert Habeck - Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (© Shutterstock/Alexandros Michailidis)

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) today declared the early warning stage of the Gas Emergency Plan as a precautionary measure. A reliable supply continues to be guaranteed, Federal Minister for Economic Affiars and Climate Acrion Robert Habeck emphasized.

Robert Habeck said: “Today, following coordination within the Federal Government, I informed the European Commission that the Federal Government has announced the first level of the Emergency Plan for Gas, the ‘early warning level’. Security of supply continues to be ensured. There are no supply bottlenecks at present. Nevertheless, we need to step up our preventive measures in order to be ready to cope with any escalation by Russia. The announcement of the early warning level means that a crisis team has convened. The crisis team analyses and assesses the supply situation so that – if necessary – further measures can be taken to enhance the security of supply. The Federal Government is doing all it can to uphold security of supply in Germany.”

Russia had announced last week that, beginning 1 April 2022, it would only accept payment for gas exports in Roubles. This would constitute a breach of the supply contracts with the EU, which specify payments in Euros or Dollars.

In order to be prepared for possible supply restrictions or failures, the BMWK has therefore today declared the early warning stage according to Art. 11 of the EU Regulation on measures to safeguard security of gas supply and convened the Gas Crisis Team. This means that the current situation in the gas network will be closely monitored and assessed.

In addition to representatives of the Federal Ministry, the Gas Crisis Team also includes representatives of the Federal Network Agency, the market area manager for gas, the transmission system operators, and it is supported by representatives of the federal states. The Gas Crisis Team will meet regularly from now on to monitor the development of the further situation on the gas market on the basis of the daily reports from the transmission system operators and the market area manager and to advise the management of the BMWK. Within the scope of their responsibility, the transmission system operators and distribution system operators take network- and market-related measures in accordance with section 16 and section 16a EnWG (Energy Industry Act), if necessary. The EU Commission and neighbouring countries have been informed about the proclamation of the early warning stage. The BMWK is in continuous contact with the EU Commission.

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