The largest gas storage facility in Germany is in Rehden in Lower Saxony. It is currently almost empty. But the Federal Minister of Economics wants to change that quickly.

Germany’s largest gas storage facility in Rehden can now be filled in view of historically low levels. For this purpose, Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) issued a ministerial regulation, as the ministry announced on Wednesday.

Habeck spoke of another important step in order to further strengthen the security of supply and provision in Germany and in particular to be adequately prepared for the next winter.

The storage facility in Rehden, Lower Saxony, was in the hands of the Russian state-owned company Gazprom – but its German subsidiary is now under the control of the Federal Network Agency.

Storage in Rehden almost empty

The gas storage facility in Rehden, unlike storage facilities owned by other owners, has only been filled to a small extent for months, according to the ministry. The filling level is currently only 2 percent. Overall, the current storage levels in Germany are 48.6 percent, as the Federal Network Agency announced on Wednesday.

“Since the storage levels of Germany’s largest gas storage facility in Rehden have been at a historic low for months, it is necessary to act quickly,” says Habeck. The ministerial regulation creates the conditions for the so-called market area manager Trading Hub Europe to start storing data in Rehden as quickly as possible.

According to the ministry, the ministerial regulation is based on the new gas storage law. It was published in the Federal Gazette on Wednesday and will come into force on Thursday.

Security of supply strengthened

Under the trusteeship of the Federal Network Agency, the storage capacities previously marketed to the Russian Gazprom Export have been terminated in a first step, the ministry said. Based on the ministerial ordinance, the market area manager can now take action and directly purchase and store physical gas. “This ensures that the filling level specifications of the Gas Storage Act can be met and the security of supply is strengthened.”

The law obliges all operators in Germany to fill their storage gradually. The storage levels must be 80 percent on October 1 of a year, 90 percent on November 1 and 40 percent on February 1.