Kwon Junho

Belgium’s gas reserves are full to capacity, but they only cover 4% of the country’s total gas needs

Since earlier this week Belgium’s gas storage capacity has been 100% full. The Federal Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten (Flemish green) reports that the huge gas tanks at the Loenhout storage facility in Antwerp Province have now been completely filled. This means that after Portugal Belgium has become the second EU country to completely fill its gas storage capacity ahead of winter.

In June, the 27 EU member countries ratified an agreement obliging them to have at least 80% of their gas storage capacity filled before 1 November. The agreement's aim is to have gas storage facilities across the EU to be full to an average of 85% capacity before the onset of winter.

In the spring the Federal Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten got her own party the Flemish greens to have a change of heart, making it easier for her to change the law and enable Belgium to replenish its gas reserves more quickly. With the country’s gas storage facility now at full capacity this might in the first instance appear to have been a big step towards ensuring gas supplies remain plentiful throughout the cold winter months. However, the storage capacity only equates to around 4% of Belgium’s average annual gas consumption.

Belgium gets its gas several sources countries.  Norway is a major supplier and LNG arrives here by ships that dock at the LNG terminal at the port of Zeebrugge in West Flanders. Gas is also imported from countries such as Qatar. Since Belgium is primarily a European transit country in terms of gas supply, the country is also supplied, by gas that is diverted from the pipelines that cross Belgium. 

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