The Czech state bought the RWE Gas Storage company, which owned and managed six gas storage facilities, for 360 million euros (converted to 8.8 billion crowns) through the ČEPS company. Their capacity corresponds to a third of annual consumption, Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) said today at a briefing near Perná in Břeclavsk at one of the six reservoirs.
Until now, it was a subsidiary of the German energy company RWE. According to Fiala, this is one of several steps towards greater energy security in the Czech Republic. The Minister of Industry and Trade, Jozef Síkela (STAN), stated that the storage tanks in the Czech Republic are currently 97 percent full, while no gas comes from Russia.
The state didn’t just buy the hoppers, but a complete company with 250 employees, which regularly makes a profit. According to Síkela, this is an investment that will ensure not only greater energy security in the future, but also profit. The volume of reservoirs taken over by the state is 2.7 billion cubic meters. The largest underground reservoir from the acquisition is Dolní Dunajovice, which has a capacity of almost one billion cubic meters. The total capacity of all storage tanks in the Czech gas network is 3.45 million cubic meters, the rest is owned by other energy companies in the country.
“Purchasing gas storage tanks and ensuring their complete control by the state is another concrete step in our efforts to restart the Czech Republic, and it is one of six strategic investments. For landlocked states, the direct impact on critical energy infrastructure is key. I am happy that we have been able to successfully correct the additional debt left by the previous governments,” said Fiala. Exactly one year ago, the Czech Republic also managed to acquire capacity at the liquefied gas terminal in the Dutch port of Emshaven, and the government is also negotiating the construction of new gas pipelines.
The government started taking intensive steps towards energy security and independence from Russia more than a year ago, when Russia started its aggression against Ukraine. Until then, the Czech Republic was dependent not only on Russian gas, but also on nuclear fuel and oil. In the case of gas, the Czech Republic has already managed to cut itself off from Russia and is also working on two other raw materials. “We managed to negotiate the expansion of the TAL pipeline, thanks to which we will be able to gradually cut ourselves off from Russian oil at the turn of 2024 and 2025,” said Fiala. Síkela added that now it can also be said that the Czech Republic will not import nuclear fuel from Russia and that, thanks to the steps taken by the current government, it is also succeeding in developing renewable sources. “Two years ago, the development of these resources rather died,” said Síkela.
The energy situation in Europe was very dramatic two years ago, and for various reasons, despite Russian aggression, the prices of electricity and gas rose significantly. The result was also the collapse of some energy traders. The war in Ukraine further escalated this situation, and the market situation last summer was the most critical. The price of energy climbed extremely high on the stock market and only then gradually began to fall, because it became clear that Europe has enough gas.
With six storages, RWE Gas Storage CZ is the largest operator of gas storages in the Czech Republic. In the last three years, according to earlier information from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the company managed a profit of 1.91 billion crowns, the most recent profit in 2022 was 363 million. In the past, the German energy company RWE discussed the sale of storage tanks with, for example, ČEZ or Energetický průmyslovým holding (EPH) of billionaire Daniel Křetínský.
Joint-stock company ČEPS, which is fully owned by the state, operates as the exclusive operator of the transmission system in the Czech Republic. According to the company’s report from this spring, ČEPS last year saw a year-on-year increase in pre-tax profit of 57 percent to 6.6 billion crowns. crowns. Total revenues rose by 98.3 billion year-on-year to 173.7 billion.
Source: Zprávy – Tiscali.cz by zpravy.tiscali.cz.
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