Germany's plan to reduce its dependence on Russian gas is on the verge of failure - the country cannot find enough tankers to transport liquefied natural gas (LNG), since most of the ships are engaged in gas supplies under long-term contracts. This is reported by Bild with reference to experts and opposition deputies of the Bundestag.
“Minister Habek’s LNG strategy has failed and will not be able to replace the amount of gas that we will need in the coming winter for the foreseeable future,” Torsten Frei, a representative of the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU / CSU), quotes the publication.
The key problem of the plan is the shortage of LNG tankers in the German merchant fleet. Martin Kroeger, representative of the German Shipowners' Union, estimates the total number of gas carriers in the world at around 500 units, while the authorities cannot increase deliveries by leasing foreign tankers, since they are involved in the implementation of long-term contracts. Andreas Fischer, an expert from the Institute for German Economics (IW), also notes that there are not enough free volumes of gas on the market to satisfy the increased demand due to Europeans.
Frei insists that the authorities should make every effort to fill the German gas storage facilities. Alexander Dobrindt of the CSU also proposes to reconsider the pricing model for the cost of energy and gas for the population and move to a fixed base tariff in order to reduce pressure on the market.
The prospects for the passage of the heating season are becoming the main problem for the Germans, as evidenced by the data of opinion polls. The key problem is the drop in gas imports from Russia through all possible channels. Gazprom has already reduced the supply capacity through Nord Stream to 40%, in addition, the gas pipeline will be closed for planned technical work in the near future. The German authorities believe that after their completion, Russia may not resume supplies, which will additionally hit the energy security of the country and all of Europe.
Germany hoped to speed up the transition from Russian pipeline gas to LNG supplies from the US and Qatar, but this option did not involve a sharp reduction in Russian gas supplies under existing contracts. European authorities insist that Gazprom deliberately disrupts gas imports in order to blackmail and force the EU to lift anti-Russian sanctions.