France wants to fill its gas storage nearly 100% by early autumn and will have a new floating LNG terminal next year to ensure its supply despite the drop in Russian deliveries, a Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne announced on Thursday. “We ensure the maximum filling of our storage capacities. We aim to be close to 100% at the beginning of the fall”, she said during a visit to a national gas control center in the island. -of France. Operators are currently required to fill them to only 85% by November 1. Gas storage is currently 59% full, compared to 46% on the same date last year.
New LNG terminal in Le Havre
Concretely, the government will ask the storage operators to buy gas themselves to fill the reserves, in addition to the purchases made by the gas suppliers. These storage companies will benefit from a public “financial guarantee”, it was explained to Matignon.
“We are going to launch a new LNG terminal to increase our capacity to supply ourselves with gas that is not dependent on Russia,” Elisabeth Borne also announced. This new floating LNG terminal (known as FSRU) in Le Havre, carried by TotalEnergies, must be connected in 2023. The government is aiming to start work from the beginning of this autumn so that the barge is connected next year and is thus available following winter. This project, which had already been discussed for several months, should allow France to import even more liquefied natural gas (LNG). It currently has four LNG import terminals, at Fos-sur-mer (two terminals), Montoir-de-Bretagne and Dunkirk.
Subjects presented to the Council of Ministers in July
The capacities of these LNG terminals are already fully reserved “over the very long term”, underlines Matignon. The country thus believes that it can count on these supplies which arrive from all over the world by boat as an alternative to Russian gas transported by pipeline. These subjects deemed “urgent” will be integrated into the next law devoted to purchasing power, which must be presented on July 6 in the Council of Ministers, it was specified in the entourage of Elisabeth Borne.
Germany – much more dependent on Russia – on Thursday activated the “alert level” of the plan to guarantee its gas supply which brings the country closer to rationing measures, in the wake of the 60% drop in deliveries from Moscow via the Nord Stream gas pipeline.