Germany Receives First Gas Deliveries Directly from France

(Reuters) — Germany on Thursday received the first direct gas deliveries from France through a pipeline link under a deal aimed at helping both countries cope with current energy supply problems, the French grid operator GRTgaz said.

France, which is less exposed to Russian imports than its eastern neighbor as most of its needs are filled from Norway and through LNG deliveries, will at first deliver 31 gigawatt hours (GWh) per day, using a pipeline in the Moselle region, GRTgaz said.

The maximum capacity of the new gas link is 100 GWh/d, the operator said in a statement.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck welcomed the news.

"This is a good and important sign of European solidarity," Habeck said. "And it shows that in a spirit of solidarity even difficult technical issues can be resolved."

Although the new flows even at maximum capacity represent less than 2% of Germany's daily needs, the direct supplies from France were eagerly awaited as Berlin rushes to find alternative supplies and keep its industry alive.

Under the agreement reached by the euro zone's two largest countries in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Germany also pledged to provide France, which is currently plagued by nuclear reactor outages, additional electricity if needed.

GRTgaz head Thierry Trouve told journalists he could not say when the maximum of 100 GWh/d could be reached.

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