France starts shipping natural gas to Germany

PARIS (HPD) — France has started shipping natural gas to Germany, French grid operator GRTgaz said Thursday, as Berlin tries to diversify its energy supply following the disruption of supply from Russia.

GRTgaz said the gas pipeline connecting the two countries in the French border village of Obergailbach has started sending 31 gigawatt hours per day.

The amount is planned to be increased to a maximum cap of 100 gigawatt hours, which represents less than 2% of daily gas consumption in Germany, according to figures from the French Ministry for Energy Transition.

The head of the German regulatory agency, Klaus Mueller, thanked GRTGaz in a tweet in French, noting that “French gas shipments via Saarland help the security of German supply.”

Although German gas tanks are 95% full, officials say people will have to be careful about their gas consumption next winter.

Germany and other European countries are trying to diversify their gas imports since Russia cut off supplies, which the continent has relied on for years for its factories, power plants and home heating.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced last month that France and Germany had agreed to a solidarity exchange. France will help Germany with gas, while Germany will generate more electricity to supply France during peak consumption hours.

The French government has mentioned the possibility of electricity shortages during the winter, as 25 of the 56 nuclear reactors are shut down for regular maintenance work, and in some cases, repairs of corrosion problems. The government said the operating company EDF promised to have all of them up and running by winter.

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