Restoring gas deliveries means more time to fill the tanks, says Czech trade minister

Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela in talks with German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, Monday, July 11, 2022, in Prague. (mpocr/Facebook)
By M B
3 Min Read

Yesterday’s resumption of gas supplies via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline means more time to fill the reservoirs before winter, Czechia’s Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela said on Twitter. According to him, the Czech Republic must continue preparing for winter and end its energy dependence on Russia.

After the regular 10-day maintenance of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, Russian gas began to flow again to the European Union on Thursday morning, according to the spokesperson for Nord Stream AG. The report eased fears that the maintenance time would be extended, although the spokesperson warned that complete restoration of the gas flow could take several hours.

“The restoration of gas supplies via the Nord Stream 1 means that we have more time to fill the reservoirs before the winter,” said Síkela. “But in no way does this mean that we should give up the goal of getting rid of our energy dependence on Russia,” he warned.

“We must not lose our vigilance against the further escalation of Putin’s energy war,” Síkela added.

It is necessary to prepare for winter

“The energy we save now will fundamentally strengthen us for winter. For Putin, gas supplies are not just business, but a way to damage Europe and Europeans and break our support for Ukraine. And he will proceed accordingly,” Síkela said.

The Czech minister convened an extraordinary meeting of EU energy ministers on July 26 in Brussels. According to Síkela, the ministers were originally supposed to discuss what to do in case the pipeline did not resume operating at all, or only partially. On Wednesday, Síkela said that even a possible partial resumption of Nord Stream 1 should not affect whether the ministers discuss the submitted parameters of the proposal.

Before the 10-day maintenance began, gas supplies had dropped to 40 percent of the pipeline’s capacity. Yesterday, gas flowed at about 30 percent, Klaus Müller, the head of the German network services regulator Bundesnetzagentur, wrote on Twitter.

The Nord Stream 1 pipeline has been in operation since 2011, running from Vyborg in Russia to Lubmin near Greifswald in northern Germany. It is 1,222 kilometers long, and its maximum capacity is 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year. From Germany, gas pipelines connect Nord Stream 1 to other countries of the European Union, including the Czech Republic.

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