The government wants to use this subsidy to encourage the energy companies to fill the gas storage as much as possible. Bergermeer, between Alkmaar and Bergen, is the largest gas storage facility in Western Europe, where commercial parties can also store gas. But until recently, it remained largely empty.
This is because the Russian state-owned company Gazprom, which still has 40 percent of the user rights to the warehouse, left the gas warehouse largely empty. The company is suspected of deliberately keeping reserves in the Netherlands low last year, given the impending Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Gazprom will probably not use the space it can fill now either. But the government wants to use the space that is available anyway.
High gas price
Therefore, other companies, such as Vattenfall and Essent, will soon be able to register to store gas in Bergermeer. They then know that they can actually supply the gas that they need to supply to consumers and businesses in the winter.
But one problem is that gas prices are still much higher than they were a year ago. The gas companies therefore risk that they now have to buy and store gas at a relatively high price, and that the price is lower in the winter, so they have to sell at a loss.
To reduce that risk, the government is now providing a subsidy of up to 406 million euros. The amount is also intended to reimburse the storage costs. To receive the subsidy, the companies must have stored gas by 1 November.
Fill in at least 68 percent
The government wants to fill Bergermeer gas storage for at least 68 percent. Other gas storage facilities, in Grijpskerk (province of Groningen, 2 billion cubic meters) and Norg (in Drenthe, 7 billion cubic meters), will be completely filled. This will jointly meet the EU’s requirement to fill storage areas up to 80 percent before winter.
The grant is awarded in two installments. Companies can indicate how much compensation they think they need. The lower the amount, the more likely their application will be granted.
The government now wants to fill Bergermeer for a maximum of 20 TWh (terrawatt hours), which is equivalent to about two billion cubic meters of gas. This corresponds to more than 5 percent of the total Dutch consumption of about 37 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
The gas depots are traditionally filled in the summer. The price is then usually lower than in winter. Demand is also lower in summer than in winter, making it easier to fill the gas storage. It is different now why a subsidy scheme has been made.
Registration starts on Monday
Registration for the first round opens on Monday 30 May and closes the same day at The prizes in the round will be announced on Wednesday 1 June. Registration for the second round is Tuesday, June 7 and closes the same day at. The announcement of the prices is Thursday, June 9th.
The Dutch state-owned company Energie Beheer Nederland (EBN) will also store gas in Bergermeer. This is at least 11 terrawatt hours or 1.1 billion cubic meters of gas. If companies store less than 20 terrawatt hours, EBN will fill the remainder to achieve a fill rate of at least 68 percent.
It can cost a maximum of 217 million euros. The total cost of filling the gas storage therefore costs us a maximum of 623 million euros.
Not just for us
The gas stored in Bergermeer is not only for the Netherlands, but also for the UK, if there is a shortage there, explains René Peters, gas expert at TNO. Bergermeer is close to a pipeline from Holland to the British. Countries in Europe are very well connected by pipelines.
Conversely, the Netherlands has fields just across the border in Germany where natural gas is stored and from which we can deduct. The Netherlands can not keep the gas to itself, arriving at the LNG terminal in the port of Rotterdam. For example, part of it goes to Germany.