The Russian company justified its decision in a statement on the Telegram application as a response to Western sanctions imposed on Russia due to the war in Ukraine.
German Energy Minister Robert Habeck accused Russia of using energy as a “weapon”, especially after the sanctions imposed by Moscow on 30 Western energy companies.
“The situation is getting worse because energy is now being used as a weapon in many ways,” Habek said at a press conference.
Despite this criticism of Moscow, Germany has already announced that it is making efforts to reduce dependence on Russian gas.
And last week, it announced the lease of 4 floating gas regasification and storage units to secure supplies through LNG imports, rather than building new permanent plants that may take time.
The German Minister of Economy considered that his country’s acquisition of 4 floating storage units contributes to the diversification of its energy sources, and plans for Berlin’s independence from “Russian blackmail.”
Germany was not satisfied with renting units, and sought to benefit from the facilities of “Gazprom” in Germany. The company announced, last month, its exit from Gazprom Germania and the storage facility in Riden, following the deterioration of relations between the two countries.
Germany began filling the storage facility in Riden on Thursday, and the official appointed to manage the company, Egbert Lieg, explained that the facility had started to absorb small quantities of gas, while the state continued to secure deals to store more supplies.
The Rieden storage facility has a storage capacity of 4 billion cubic metres, but now contains only 0.6% of its capacity, a storage rate lower than the estimated German gas storage average of 36%.
The expert residing in Berlin, Zahi Allawi, says that these steps will not be enough to dispense with Russian gas, because processing will take time, and shipping gas will take longer than it takes through Russian gas pipelines.
Allawi added to “Sky News Arabia” that the German steps, “their success depends on the extent to which alternatives are provided. Germany needs 55% to fill the void if Russian gas is abandoned, and therefore very large quantities of gas must be provided from other countries, whether the Gulf states or the United States, which will not It can only cover 15% of the needs of Europe and Germany.”
And he continues, “Qatar can save between 5 and 10%, but after a long period of investing in the gas field, I do not see that Germany is able to dispense with Russian gas before the end of next year.”
Regarding the change in the German position, which was opposing the abandonment of Russian energy, Allawi says, the reason is the pressures that Berlin was subjected to from Washington, London and the European Union, and the popular pressures that saw that it was necessary to help Ukraine.
Germany has leased two units, among the four announced units, from the Greek ship supplier “Dyna Gas”, and according to estimates, the two units can compensate for 30% of Russian gas.
Berlin chose the port of Wilhelmshaven in the North Sea as the first processing centers, and the Brunsbüttel port is preparing to join it. The first units in Wilhelmshaven are expected to accommodate about 7.5 billion cubic meters, meeting 8.5% of domestic demand.
The Ministries of Economy and Environment confirmed that the storage capacity of the other three units reaches a minimum of 5 billion cubic meters per unit.