The state, together with energy supplier CEZ, has secured pipeline capacity from the port of Eemshaven, in the Netherlands. This will allow the Czech Republic to import up to three billion cubic meters (bcm) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year, which corresponds to one-third of the gas imported from Russia.
“Europe is currently trying to increase the possibilities of importing gas from countries other than Russia. Thus, new LNG terminals are being built that will be able to receive gas from overseas. There is now logically a great interest in LNG, and the Czech Republic, a land-locked country, needs to secure capacity in one of the coastal states to ensure energy security,” said Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela.
“We have ensured the Czech Republic the possibility to source three bcm of gas in this terminal every year, which is approximately a third of the total volume of gas we imported from Russia. Together, we have also secured new transport capacities for the state, through which we will transport gas to the Czech Republic,” announced Mr Síkela.
CEZ is now negotiating with various LNG suppliers to secure as much liquefied natural gas as possible for the upcoming heating season. They expect to use the terminal immediately after its launch, which is planned for September.
“This is an important step on the way back to safe energy supplies at affordable prices for Czech citizens and Czech companies,” said CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of CEZ, Daniel Beneš adding that CEZ is purposefully continuing our strategy to phase out the energy dependence on Russia.
The LNG terminal in the port of Eemshaven will consist of two floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs); the Exmar S188 and the Golar Igloo. Both FSRUs are to arrive at the port of Eemshaven at the end of August. Together, the two FSRUs have a throughput capacity of approximately 8 bcm per year, which can contribute significantly to reducing dependence on Russian gas.
Gas storage in the Czech Republic is currently 77 per cent full and the state continues to fill them primarily through Norwegian and LNG sources, but as the Minister said, the Czech Republic would be prepared to offer Gazprom alternative routes if Nord Stream 1 were not operational. In 2021, the Czech Republic imported 87 per cent of its gas from Russia.
The countries of the European Union are doing everything to secure the gas supply independently of Russia. On Wednesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen asked all EU countries to reduce their gas demand by 15 per cent from August to next April and work together to prepare for an event of a total gas cut-off from Russia.