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German gas storage 90% full ahead of winter

September 20, 2022

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Germany has a chance of getting through the winter "comfortably" despite the lack of Russian gas. Germany is on track to meet a 95% storage capacity target by November.

Germany's Economy Minister Robert Habeck and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania premier Manuela Schwesig visit a future LNG terminal
Habeck and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Premier Manuela Schwesig look at a site where a new LNG terminal will be constructed in GermanyImage: Stefan Sauer/dpa/picture alliance

Gas storage facilities in Germany are more than 90% full, according to data released by the Aggregated Gas Storage Inventory (AGSI), a European energy data platform. 

The German government has planned for 95% of storage capacity to be filled by November. The storage is seen as essential for Germany to get through winter without Russian gas imports.

"If everything goes well, savings in Germany are high and if we have a bit of luck with the weather, we will have a chance at getting through the winter comfortably," Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Monday.

"That means, however, that the storage facilities will be empty again at the end of the winter — in this case really empty, because we are going to use the gas," he added.

Germany seeks alternative gas sources

Russia had supplied about 40% of the European Union's gas before its February invasion of Ukraine.

In early September, Russian energy giant Gazprom said gas supplies to Western Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline had stopped entirely, claiming equipment issues. The German government has accused Moscow of "weaponizing" gas deliveries in response to Berlin's support of Ukraine and EU sanctions. 

Germany's small businesses face tough choices

Moscow gave no time frame as to when it might restart the pipeline.

Germany also receives natural gas via pipelines from Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium. Over the weekend, Germany expects to sign contracts for the delivery of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the United Arab Emirates.

France's energy regulator CRE said natural gas exports to Germany could start in October. Construction on one of Germany's new LNG terminals is also set to begin this week.

lo/wmr (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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