June 27, 2022

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Germany announces the alert phase of its gas supply emergency plan: “Belgium’s gas supply is still guaranteed” |  Instagram news VTM

Germany announces the alert phase of its gas supply emergency plan: “Belgium’s gas supply is still guaranteed” | Instagram news VTM

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck has announced the alert phase of the national gas supply emergency plan. Germany is the first country in Europe to do so. “Gas is now scarce in Germany,” the minister said. “We all need to reduce our gas consumption to save energy for the winter.” According to Energy Minister Tine van der Straiten, the gas supply in Belgium is still guaranteed. This has been reported to VTM Nieuws.

The alert phase is the second phase of the contingency plan. The first stage – the so-called “early warning” – was activated at the end of March. The Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden have also announced an “early warning” in recent days, bringing the total to 10 out of 27 member states. As a result, more electricity can be generated in the Netherlands by burning coal.

The second stage, according to the plan, includes a failure in the gas supply or an excessive demand for gas, which leads to a “significant deterioration in the state of the gas supply.”

high risk

The government then sees a high risk of long-term gas supply problems. Berlin will now offer a €15 billion credit line to fill gas storage facilities. In addition, a gas auction model will be launched this summer to encourage industrial gas consumers to save on gas. However, utilities are not (yet) allowed to pass higher gas prices to the customer in order to reduce demand.

© Reuters

Compared to many other European countries, Germany is highly dependent on Russian gas. Before the war in Ukraine, more than half of Germany’s gas imports came from Russia. However, Moscow has clearly reduced gas supplies to Germany in recent weeks. Gazprom cut gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline by 60 percent. Berlin is taking into account that Russia will turn off the tap even more.

‘economic attack’

“We shouldn’t deceive ourselves,” Habeck said. “Reducing our gas supplies is an economic attack on us by President Putin.”

After the alert phase, there is another emergency phase, where the state must intervene to ensure that protected customers, such as families, continue to receive gas.

our country

Our country was informed of Germany’s plans at the end of last week. Belgium was also informed in advance of the Netherlands’ plans, which declared an “early warning” on Monday. “Our countries are in constant consultation with neighboring countries, and the impact on Belgium is being closely monitored,” Cabinet Minister Tine van der Straiten said.

With each changing case, a consistent protocol is followed to properly estimate the impact on supplies for our country. On Sunday evening, consultations took place between FLUXYS, the gas network operator, AD Energie and Van der Straeten Cabinet. “The Energy Department has held frequent consultations with its BENELUX counterparts, and participated in a meeting with their European counterparts on Monday.”

“The analysis shows that the gas supply in Belgium is still guaranteed,” says van der Straiten. “Currently, there are no elements to declare an “early warning” in our country. Belgium has two main advantages. On the one hand, there is hardly any Russian gas in our Belgian pipeline network, and on the other hand, we have an important gateway with the port of Zeebrugge and Dunkirk (North France).

overlap

Our country is the crossroads of European gas as an import and transit hub. Belgium exports up to 3.5 times its own consumption to Germany and the Netherlands, at maximum capacity. On an annual basis, 53.5% of gas consumption in our country is spent on our families and small and medium-sized businesses, 24.5% on industry and 22% on electricity production. ”

According to the minister, the situation is not serious because Belgium should not issue an “early warning”. There is a real danger that prices will continue to rise and remain high. With gas stations in Zeebrugge and Dunkirk, Belgium plays an important role as a transit country. Our country is exporting at full capacity through interconnection and our neighboring countries can continue to rely on that. The condition is monitored and evaluated on a daily basis.”

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