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23 Jun, 2022 08:09

Germany triggers ‘alarm' stage of gas emergency plan

The move comes into play amid disruption to supply from Russia, which Moscow has blamed on sanctions
Germany triggers ‘alarm' stage of gas emergency plan

The German government has launched the second “alarm” phase of its three-level gas emergency plan, on Thursday. The measure has been prepared over possible disruptions to gas supplies. Berlin has warned it's facing a shortage of the fuel amid diminishing flows from Russia.

Economy Minister Robert Habeck described the shortage of Russian gas as an “economic attack” on his country by President Vladimir Putin.

We will defend ourselves against this. But our country is going to have to go down a stony path now,” he said.

The introduction of new emergency measures comes after Gazprom moved last week to decrease natural gas deliveries to Germany by 60%.

While Berlin has slammed the Russian company’s decision as “political,” Moscow has argued that the Saint Petersburg energy giant is unable to safely maintain gas flow without a turbine that has been sent by Siemens Energy to Canada for maintenance, but not yet returned. The equipment has been placed in limbo due to economic sanctions imposed on Moscow by Ottawa.

The Canadian government said it was exploring ways to fix the problem. “The intent of the sanctions was never to cause significant pain to Germany, which is one of our closest friends and allies,” Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson told Bloomberg.

The German regulator of gas distribution networks, Bundesnetzagentur, has announced that it will work to reduce gas consumption by manufacturers in response to the looming emergency. The country is concerned about saving reserves for the winter period, its top official has explained.

At the moment, German gas storage facilities are filled to 58% capacity, Berlin clarified as it introduced the “alarm” stage, which is higher than it was at this time last year. Germany wants to reach 90% capacity by December.

If the highest third phase of the gas emergency plan is triggered, Germany will introduce gas rationing.