Gas

The European Union appears to be making progress towards adopting a joint purchase mechanism for natural gas, in a bid to wean itself off Russian oil.

EU Commission Vice President Marcos Sefcovic stated that in a bid to avoid the reliance on Russia, which has seen it unable to cut-off imports from the country despite its invasion of Ukraine, a new system would be required.

Looking back to the pandemic and how nation states collaborated to purchase vaccines when they were in short supply and high demand, Mr Sefcovic explained that the idea would see EU countries band together to use their collective bargaining power to negotiate good deals for gas, LNG (light natural gas) and hydrogen.

“Europe should definitely use better its enormous weight, the scale of the European economy if it comes to the negotiating of energy prices,” he said, pointing to a European Council summit this week as when a deal could be discussed.

These points were made via draft conclusions to the summit, obtained by The Associated Press.

The EU is also considering introducing caps on electricity and gas prices and measures to mitigate increases in electricity prices for customers.

At the same time, according to Mr Sefcovic, the bloc will take action to ensure high energy security for future winters, introducing a legislative proposal to ensure gas storages remain at an adequate level.

Europe has seen a shortage of both LPG and Liquified Natural Gas (LNG, which is burnt to produce electricity), as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the resulting sanctions against Russia.

In Malta, key supplier and distributer of Liquified Petroleum Gas limited, Liquigas Malta Limited, earlier in March confirmed that it “has secured supplies of LPG required to meet demand in Malta for the foreseeable future”.

“This was achieved thanks to the support SHV Energy, a Dutch company shareholder of Liquigas Malta, and which is a global leader in the distribution of LPG across more than 25 countries worldwide,” the company said in an official statement.

It made no mention of whether the price per cylinder will change. Liquigas Malta is the main supplier of LPG on the island, with EasyGas having a smaller market share.

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