Cabinet is working on security of gas supply for winter next year | News item

News item | 09-12-2022 | 3:30 pm

In order to have enough gas next winter, the cabinet is working on preparations for filling the gas storages. The filling target for the winter of 2023 – 2024 is at least 90%, in accordance with European agreements. This accounts for about a third of national consumption, but is also used by other European countries. EBN will also receive the order to partially fill gas storage ‘Bergermeer’ next year. And they are instructed to leave the gas, which they have stored this year in Bergermeer, until the first quarter of 2024. This way, more gas remains in stock and less needs to be refilled.

Minister Jetten for Climate and Energy: “With gas storages filled to 93%, the filling target was amply achieved this year. Partly as a result of the well-stocked storage facilities in Europe, the turbulent gas market has calmed down. We also saved a lot of gas. As a result of the high gas price and extra energy efficiency, our consumption has decreased by a quarter compared to previous years. This year has shown that we cannot take energy security for granted. Next year it will also be difficult to attract sufficient gas at acceptable prices. That is why it is important to quickly provide clarity to the market, to have a plan and to carefully apply the lessons learned this year, such as spread and coordinated purchasing with European countries.”

Just like last year, the government has chosen to apply a combination of measures. Including building up a gas stock, subsidies and an assignment to EBN to fill the storages. EBN has been commissioned to fill gas storage ‘Bergermeer’ to 15-20 TWh insofar as the market does not do so. Some 520.5 million euros has been reserved for this purpose. EBN is also being asked to leave around 7 TWh in storage until the first quarter of 2024 and to purchase other gas instead. In addition, a subsidy measure is being explored for ‘Bergermeer’ gas storage, which will cover the risk of a negative spread for the filling parties (the ‘spread’ is the difference between purchase and (potential) sale). This year there was also a similar measure, but it did not cost any money because of the positive spread. For the Netherlands’ largest storage facility ‘Norg’, consultations are still taking place on how the storage can be filled further, in addition to the existing agreements.

The import capacity for LNG doubled this year from 120 to 240 TWh/year due to the opening of the Eems Energy Terminal (EET) in Eemshaven and the expansion of the GATE terminal in Rotterdam. EET has room to expand even further (up to a maximum of 90 to 100 TWh/year) by improving its processes. GATE is also working on a further expansion from 160 to 200 TWh/year from 2026. In addition, two initiatives are being considered to realize new LNG terminals in the Netherlands from 2024. For imports, including LNG, the Netherlands is working together at EU level on an action plan for joint procurement. In addition, more long-term contracts are being considered to secure gas volumes for Europe for a longer period.