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Germany’s economy ministry said gas-storage facilities are filling up faster than planned despite uncertainty over supplies through a key pipeline from Russia, and predicted that an October target of 85% capacity should already be reached early next month.
Germany’s bid to end imports of Russian gas is succeeding “to a very great extent,” Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Sunday in an emailed statement. Work on installing floating liquefied gas terminals is going according to plan, deliveries from the Netherlands and Belgium will be increased and France also wants to supply gas to Germany, he added.
“It’s a very challenging situation and big savings are definitely still needed, but we are prepared as a country,” Habeck said.
Germany is racing to fill gas storage in time for winter after Russia drastically cut flows through the key Nord Stream pipeline, driving up prices and exacerbating Europe’s worst energy crisis in decades. The ruling coalition in Berlin has mandated that facilities be 85% full by October and 95% by November.
Gazprom PJSC announced this month it will stop delivering gas to Europe through Nord Stream for three days starting Wednesday but Habeck said Germany should already have almost reached the October target by then.
“Companies will then be able to withdraw the gas in the storage facilities as planned over the winter in order to also supply industry and households,” he said. “These are undoubtedly difficult times. But despite the difficult circumstances, we are making progress.”
According to the Federal Network Agency’s latest report, storage was 81.3% full as of Friday, with flows through Nord Stream at about 20% of capacity.
(Updates with ministry statement starting in first paragraph)
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