Gas storage is key to security of supply

Major natural gas storage companies operating in Germany have joined forces in the “Initiative Erdgasspeicher e.V." (INES) based in Berlin. The aim of the initiative is to promote public awareness of the importance of natural gas storage as part of the energy transition by pooling interests. As the central point of contact for politics, the media and the public, INES is committed to a secure, efficient and economic supply of natural gas.

The founding members of the initiative include Bayerngas GmbH, Berliner Erdgasspeicher GmbH & Co. KG, E.ON Gas Storage GmbH, OMV Gas Storage Germany GmbH, Statoil Deutschland Storage GmbH, Storengy Deutschland GmbH and VNG Gasspeicher GmbH. With their underground facilities the member companies of INES already operate more than half of the natural gas storage capacity in Germany. Other companies have already indicated their interest in joining.

"Natural gas storage is a central component of a secure gas supply. As an energy storage system for renewable energies, natural gas storage is an ideal partner for the energy transition. Nevertheless, the importance of natural gas storage in the current market environment is not adequately represented," said Bernd Protze, Director of the Board of the newly founded initiative. "Divergent market rules and the distribution of roles by market partners are increasingly calling into question the economic operation of underground facilities," Protze continues.

The member companies of INES support the current transformation of the energy markets within a reasonable economic framework. In close cooperation with the established German and European associations of the energy industry, the initiative wants to participate in the design of the energy markets and the creation of corresponding market rules. In addition, INES provides its members with information and assistance in implementing regulatory obligations for storage operators.

The "Initiative Erdgasspeicher e.V." was registered on Februar 3, 2014 in the register of associations at the district court Berlin-Charlottenburg. The initiative is chaired by Bernd Protze (VNG Gasspeicher GmbH, President of the Board) and Arno Büx (Storengy Deutschland GmbH, Vice President of the Board). Other Board Members are Claus Obholzer (E.ON Gas Storage GmbH) and Holger Staisch (Berliner Erdgasspeicher GmbH & Co.KG). The opening of a separate office in Berlin is planned for the end of February.