Van der Straeten asks 1000 companies about gas consumption ‘to refine the emergency plan’ – Politics

Commissioned by Minister of Energy Tinne Van der Straeten (Groen), a study is currently being carried out with more than 1000 companies to refine the emergency plan for natural gas. That plan would take effect if supplies were to falter.

In that case, the minister wants companies to experience as little impact as possible, she said.

At the request of the European Commission, all European Member States have an emergency plan for natural gas. This consists of three phases and takes effect as soon as supply problems arise. Unlike electricity, complete shutdowns are not possible, partly for safety reasons. But you can consume less.

The nervousness of the European gas supply has risen again in recent weeks. Russia is increasingly using its gas supplies as a geopolitical weapon in the fight against Ukraine and, by extension, the entire West, cutting power through the Nord Stream pipeline to Europe by 40 percent last week. In the time leading up to winter, this Russian threat could cause problems.

‘Prepared for the worst’

There is no indication in Belgium that the supply of natural gas will be endangered next winter, emphasizes Minister of Energy Tinne Van der Straeten. Our country is currently 4 percent dependent on Russian gas and, together with the port of Zeebrugge, is also a hub for the import of liquefied gas. Still, the Green Minister will be prepared for the worst, she says.

In this context, a study from FPS Economy has been running since Monday on behalf of Van der Straeten to ‘refine’ the emergency plan. Until July 3, they can indicate online what is an acceptable minimum consumption of gas for them, what type of gas they use exactly and for what purpose. “With (the Russian president, ed.) Putin in this world, there is no such thing as zero risk. It is therefore essential to prepare on all fronts’, says Van der Straeten. ‘A tailor-made emergency plan guarantees results and minimal impact on businesses when it comes to reducing gas consumption.’

The minister wants companies to experience as little impact as possible in that case, she said. At the request of the European Commission, every European member state has an emergency plan for natural gas. This consists of three phases and takes effect as soon as supply problems arise. Unlike electricity, complete shutdowns are not possible, partly for safety reasons. But you can consume less. The nervousness of the European gas supply has risen again in recent weeks. Russia is increasingly using its gas supplies as a geopolitical weapon in the fight against Ukraine and, by extension, the entire West, cutting power through the Nord Stream pipeline to Europe by 40 percent last week. In the time leading up to winter, this Russian threat could cause problems. There is no indication in Belgium that the supply of natural gas will be endangered next winter, emphasizes Minister of Energy Tinne Van der Straeten. Our country is currently 4 percent dependent on Russian gas and, together with the port of Zeebrugge, is also a hub for the import of liquefied gas. Still, the Green Minister will be prepared for the worst, she says. In this context, a study from FPS Economy has been running since Monday on behalf of Van der Straeten to ‘refine’ the emergency plan. Until July 3, they can indicate online what is an acceptable minimum consumption of gas for them, what type of gas they use exactly and for what purpose. “With (the Russian president, ed.) Putin in this world, there is no such thing as zero risk. It is therefore essential to prepare on all fronts’, says Van der Straeten. ‘A tailor-made emergency plan guarantees results and minimal impact on businesses when it comes to reducing gas consumption.’

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