Germany gas supply 'secure for coming winter'

AFP - [email protected]
Germany gas supply 'secure for coming winter'
A thermostat on a radiator. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Fernando Gutierrez-Juarez

Germany will avoid gas shortages in the coming winter, Berlin's economy minister said, dodging the worst scenarios predicted after Russian gas supplies to the country were cut last year.


"The (gas) reserves are full. If everything goes well, we will get through the winter without any trouble," Robert Habeck said in an interview with public television on Wednesday night.

Germany nonetheless needed to remain "careful", Habeck said, making reference to the recent appearance of a leak in the pipeline between Finland and Estonia or industrial action at gas processing facilities in Australia in September.

Europe's largest economy was highly reliant on pipeline supplies of Russian gas, before Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

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But following the outbreak of the conflict, the supplies stopped, while key pipelines connecting Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea were spectacularly sabotaged.

In response, Germany scrambled to reduce its gas usage, while tapping new supplies to avoid acute shortages.

Among the steps taken by Berlin was a decision to restart mothballed coal-fired power plants to take the load off gas-powered facilities.

In the end, the coal plants, which were not slated to run beyond March 2024, would not be necessary through the coldest months around the turn of the year, Habeck said.


The rapid expansion of gas import capacity with the construction of several LNG terminals, meant Germany had a "buffer".

But Habeck said he could "not promise anything", given the possibility that unforeseen events could disrupt supply.

Germany's gas reserves are currently 97 percent full, according to the federal regulator, slightly above the government's 95-percent target for the end of September.



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