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France starts sending natural gas directly to Germany

October 13, 2022

Technical adjustments were necessary as the single pipeline between the two countries was originally intended only to deliver gas from Germany to France.

A gas meter as German customers deal with energy price increases
Germany says it should get through winter with gas storage facilities that are nearly 95% fullImage: Christoph Hardt/Panama Pictures/picture alliance

France started sending gas directly to Germany for the first time on Thursday, GRTgaz said.

The French network operator began modifying its pipeline networks months ago to enable flow in the opposite direction to that originally intended.

"In a novel energy situation linked to the war in Ukraine, France is showing solidarity with its German neighbor by supplying gas directly to it," the company said.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz agreed in September to an energy cooperation deal to reduce risks of energy shortages amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Germany unveils plan for energy-cost crisis

Germany helps France with electricity production shortfall

France has traditionally been far less reliant on Russian energy than Germany, which is urgently seeking other gas sources as Moscow throttles its deliveries to the EU.

But, almost half of France's 56 nuclear reactors were offline for maintenance or safety checks.

The gas supply would allow Germany to produce more electricity that, in turn, could be sent back to the French grid during peak hours.

"If we did not have European solidarity and an integrated, united market right now, we would have serious problems," Macron said in a televised interview Wednesday.

Initially, 31 gigawatt-hours per day will flow across the border in Germany's southwest, with a maximum capacity of 100 gigawatt-hours per day.

lo/fb (AFP, dpa)