Illustration; Source: Deutsche Energy Terminal (DET)

Vigilance advised but mild winter serves to lessen concerns over gas supply in Germany

FNB Gas, Germany’s association of gas transmission system operators (TSOs), has confirmed the easing of gas supply woes in the winter of 2023/2024 due to mild temperatures and diversification of import routes.

Illustration; Source: Deutsche Energy Terminal (DET)

After the energy crisis in the winter of 2022/2023, caused by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and the suspension of Russian gas imports, FNB Gas shared that the transmission system operators were able to relax during the winter of 2023/2024. 

Warmer weather translated into comparatively low sales, coupled with low levels of gas consumption, especially on heating. FNB Gas CEO, Dr. Thomas Gößmann, said that the gas supply was stable and reliable without major obstacles. 

Still, Gößmann advised caution: “Even if we were able to fully guarantee security of supply this winter, we still have to be vigilant and prepared for future crises. We are now better equipped for this thanks to many newly created instruments such as the gas security platform.”

Diversification of import routes and high storage levels ensured additional security, enabling operators to meet the demand for natural gas. In addition to consistent deliveries from Norway, western feed-ins continued, especially from Belgium, the Netherlands, and France, but at a slightly lower rate than the previous winter.

After the LNG Acceleration Law was passed in 2022 to enhance energy security in Germany following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there has been more focus on LNG. FNB Gas shared that the country’s three terminals were used for imports this winter. An additional terminal for LNG imports, Wilhelmshaven 2, is under construction, with Lithuania’s KN Energies recently securing a deal to work on it.

The importance of LNG was reinforced by the 15-year deal signed between EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg (EnBW) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), for the delivery of 0.6 million metric tons per annum (mmtpa) of LNG.

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These developments also led to what FNB Gas says is a significant drop in wholesale prices compared to the previous year. Energy-saving measures were discontinued, and as storage levels did not drop below the required minimum values, TSOs were able to handle the high demand during a cold period.

In a bid to further diversify its energy transport routes, Germany kicked off the construction of its part of the first-ever energy link with the United Kingdom a few days ago, while works on the UK side started in July 2023.

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