Netherlands to stop purchasing Russian gas by the end of the year
The Cabinet intends to completely phase out all purchases of Russian gas, oil and coal by the end of the year, said Rob Jetten, the climate and energy minister. The supply of gas kept in storage facilities will be bolstered as much as possible in time for next year. About 15 percent of gas consumed in the Netherlands originates in Russia.
Jetten made the announcement while speaking with journalists after the weekly Council of Ministers meeting. He said the government will offer incentives to companies to help stock up on gas, including the possibility of compensating companies who get stuck with the high purchase price of gas now, should that price fall before the fuel is consumed. Even without the energy companies' participation, the state-owned firm, Energie Beheer Nederland, will attempt to guarantee that the gas storage facility in Bergermeer is filled to at least 70 percent of its capacity.
The minister said the Cabinet will allocate around 623 million euros for this. A tax on gas may be used to cover the cost. He said the Cabinet had been quietly working on a plan to quickly reduce, or eliminate, the need for Russian gas. Natural gas from the country may still flow through Dutch pipelines to other countries, he said.
Energy savings and a growing focus on sustainability will also help reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Additionally, the Netherlands will also invest in storage of liquified natural gas at the ports in Rotterdam and Eemshaven. This will allow for increasing imports from of liquified natural gas from other countries. With these factors combined, "we will be able to replace the entire Russian supply of gas," Jetten told reporters.
The European Union as a whole will stop importing coal from Russia by August 11, according to NOS. That is as a result of the EU's fifth package of sanctions imposed on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. The EU is still working out how it can eliminate purchases of Russian oil.