The Czech Republic has bought 2.4 terawatt hours (TWh) of gas for 8.5 billion crowns from majority state-owned utility CEZ to add to its state reserves in case of supply problems.
The central European country is nearly 100% dependent for its gas on Russia, which cut gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland last Wednesday after they refused to pay it in roubles, sparking concerns other countries could be similarly hit.
“The Czech Republic is increasing its energy security with this purchase,” Pavel Svagr, head of the State Material Reserves Administration, wrote on Twitter.
It is the first time the state has bought gas reserves. The price paid includes transport and storage, and the volume amounts to around 2% of the country’s 2021 consumption.
The country also holds reserves of oil and oil products sufficient to cover its needs for three months or more.
On Sunday, the Ministry of Industry and Trade Josef Síkela said that gas storage tanks in the Czech Republic are 30 percent full at the moment, adding that the country’s gas reserves have exceeded one billion cubic metres.
Síkela said the target for 80 per cent of storage capacity to be filled by the start of the next heating season will be fulfilled.