Households and critical infrastructure will receive gas if the supply is cut

The ministry has set up a system of ten “consumption levels” in case the gas supply runs out. At the first level, it would no longer be provided to customers able to switch to other fuel types.

On Wednesday, Russia’s Gazprom turned off the taps to Poland and Bulgaria, saying it was because of their refusal to pay for gas in rubles as Moscow had demanded.

Czech Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Síkela says the country has gas reserves of around 925 million cubic meters, up from 391 million cubic meters at the same time last year.

The current reserves correspond to approximately two months of regular consumption. If regulations were introduced, those supplies would suffice for a considerably longer period, Síkela told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

The minister said his officials and the government have been working over the past few days and weeks to ensure that a critical gas shortage resulting from Russia’s war on Ukraine does not occur or is ‘mitigated’. .

If the country faces a critical shortage of gas, statutory regulatory levels are in place. A situation in which only households and key infrastructure would receive gas would only occur in the later stages of this system, the minister said.

The vast majority of gas in the Czech network comes from the eastern part of Germany. The interruption of Russian gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria should not affect the gas supply to the Czech Republic, the Czech News Agency said.

In line with a pan-European goal to gradually wean supplies from Russia, the Czech Republic is currently preparing a strategy to diversify supplies and transport routes, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said.

Legislation that would allow the receipt of Norwegian gas in the Czech Republic is being prepared. According to preliminary information, supplies from Norway could cover around a quarter of domestic consumption, the Czech News Agency said.

Berta D. Wells