Dhe Uniper Group is now using its own gas storage facilities to supply its customers because of the reduced gas deliveries from Russia and the high prices on the spot market. “We are currently reducing our specially booked gas volumes in our storage facilities in order to supply our customers with gas and to ensure liquidity,” said a Uniper spokesman on Friday.
Overall, the filling level of the gas storage facilities in Germany has hardly changed. Even after Russian gas deliveries through the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 1 were stopped due to maintenance work, the storage level did not decrease significantly if you look at all storage facilities. “Currently, almost the same amount of gas is being injected and withdrawn,” reported the Federal Network Agency in its management report on Friday. According to information from Europe’s gas infrastructure operator GIE, the fill level in German storage rose by 0.01 percent on Thursday and fell by 0.06 percent on Wednesday.
The network agency warned on Thursday that the withdrawal of gas would make it more difficult to reach the storage levels required for the winter and reduce the reserves for a shortage. In order to avoid a shortage in winter, Germany wants to fill up the storage facilities as quickly as possible. According to the law, they should be 80 percent full by October 1st and 90 percent by November 1st. Germany is currently a long way from this: the storage facilities are 64.5 percent full.
The tug-of-war over Uniper continues
Uniper boss Klaus-Dieter Maubach had already announced in the past that his company might attack its own storage facilities. The largest German gas importer Uniper, which is majority owned by the Finnish Fortum, is in crisis and has asked the federal government for help. The reasons are that Russia has cut gas supplies to Germany and Western Europe and prices on the gas market have risen enormously, while at the same time the group has to meet its supply obligations to customers.
There has not yet been a breakthrough in the struggle for the future of the company. “No decisions have been made yet,” Fortum said on Thursday evening. Finnish Europe Minister Tytti Tuppurainen had previously spoken to German government officials in Berlin. Tuppurainen, like Fortum, insists on a quick solution. It is unclear how the Finnish government and Fortum will be held accountable.
“We have to examine all options in order to guarantee the security of supply and the stability of the European energy markets in the long term,” emphasized Fortum CEO Markus Rauramo. He is happy about the support of the Finnish state in finding a solution. “We’re not ruling out any options at this point,” Tuppurainen had said without going into detail. “The negotiations are in an intensive and critical phase.” Fortum has invested a lot of capital in Uniper.
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