Slovakia will survive next winter, even if the import of Russian gas to Europe stops completely. According to the Minister of Economy of Slovakia Karel Girman, the reason for the constant efforts of Slovak suppliers to diversify imports, reports Euractiv.
On April 5, the country’s largest supplier, SPP, reportedly announced a contract extension with British energy giant BP, which exports gas to Slovakia from gas fields in the North Sea, until 2024.
SPP also expanded its partnership with ExxonMobil to supply gas from its global portfolio. New natural gas purchase contracts have been signed with Shell, ENI and RWE for 2023 and 2024.
Currently, SPP can cover about 70% of its customers’ consumption from non-Russian sources. “Last year we were extremely successful, diversifying our gas supplies significantly in record time, and have already accounted for more than 36% of our gas supplies in 2022,” said Miroslav Kulla, CEO of the company.
“Now we are focusing not only on the 2023/2024 heating season, but also on the next 2024/2025 heating season, which is a consequence of the lagging supply and demand, which is expected to stabilize only in 2026 with the completion of the construction of the LNG term. new regasification units and improvement of natural gas transportation infrastructure in Europe,” Kulla added.
Girman noted that smaller Slovak suppliers such as ZSE or VSE also have significant reserves in their gas storages. In general, Slovak gas reserves are 60% full after winter.
“Such volumes were common in previous years, sometimes at Christmas, at the beginning of the heating season,” Girman added.
On average, gas storage facilities in the EU are now about 55% full.
Compared to last year, Slovakia saved more than 20% in consumption thanks to a mild winter and cost-saving measures by consumers, Girman added.