DAccording to the plan, the maintenance work should only last ten days – until July 21st. However, due to the sanctions imposed by the West, it is to be feared that Russia will not turn on the gas tap again this time. In view of a possible complete stop of gas supplies from Russia, Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck warned of a “political nightmare scenario”. The government is trying to prepare for the worst with its measures in order to avoid exactly that, said Habeck (Greens) on Deutschlandfunk. France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said at an economic conference in Aix-en-Provence in southern France that the French government was also preparing for a complete disruption to Russian gas supplies.
For weeks now, significantly less gas than possible has been delivered via the Baltic Sea pipeline. According to the Federal Network Agency, the line is currently only about 40 percent utilized. For Russia, maintenance work on a Siemens turbine is responsible for this. Canada agreed at the weekend – despite its sanctions against Russia – to return the serviced turbine to Germany. According to Habeck, Russia’s justification was only pretended and also an indication that the regular maintenance work on Nord Stream 1 might not be completed in the usual period.
What are you afraid of?
The gas supply in Germany is currently still stable. Hot water only at certain times or turning off the heating overnight would be worst-case scenarios. Robert Habeck describes a possible state allocation of energy as a “political nightmare scenario”. “This will present Germany with a crucial test that we haven’t had for a long time,” says the Economics Minister. Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) accused Habeck of failing to purchase LNG gas and warned of a “stroke” in the fall due to gas and electricity shortages, from which Germany may not recover.
According to the President of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, there are different signals from Moscow about future gas deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline -Turbine from Canada will deliver significantly more gas again, said Müller on Monday in the ZDF morning magazine. On the other hand, there were also very martial announcements. “Honestly, no one knows,” said Müller.
In the worst case, if Russia stops gas deliveries through Nord Stream 1 even after the maintenance, there are several scenarios in which Germany slips into a gas emergency. It depends on several factors, such as the procurement of terminals for liquid gas and how quickly you can save gas, said Müller. From the point of view of the Federal Network Agency, it is also important to prevent a north-south divide in Germany in terms of gas supply. The storage facilities in the south would therefore be filled in a targeted manner.
Habeck speaks of further relief packages
Consumer Protection Minister Lemke told the “Bild am Sonntag”: “On the one hand, we have to ensure that the suppliers can maintain the energy supply in the country and, on the other hand, nobody should be cut off from electricity or gas in such a crisis situation because they are in arrears with the bill. Lemke promised a moratorium, as applied to rent payments during the early phase of the corona pandemic. At that time, tenants were protected from evictions for three months if they could not pay their rent.