Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said Russia's Gazprom, which owns one of the largest gas storage facilities in Central Europe located in the town of Haidach near Salzburg, must fill it with gas or the facility will be transferred to other companies.
According to Nehammer , Austria has developed a step-by-step plan to eliminate dependence on Russian natural gas and measures are being taken to find alternative fuel suppliers. In addition, the national strategic gas reserve has been created in the country.
"We must take measures to ensure that all companies fill the storage facilities. We are also looking clearly and decisively at Gazprom's huge storage facility in Haidach. If it is not filled, then we will take measures to ensure that it is filled," Nehammer said in an interview with the Austrian newspaper Kleinen Zeitung.
Austrian Chancellor noted that this gas storage facility will not be nationalized. According to him, "there are other ways to gain access to the repository, based on the principle of "use it or lose it". That is, if you use it, then everything is fine, if you do not use it, then other companies can access it.
“Haidach is strategically important for both Germany and the western federal states of Austria," Nehammer said. According to the Chancellor, the Austrian authorities are already working on an appropriate legal framework.
"We are resolute about this. If it is not filled, it should be used by other energy companies," said the Austrian Chancellor.
According to Kleinen Zeitung, the underground gas storage facility in Haidach near Salzburg is the second largest storage facility in Central Europe. It can store a quarter of Austria's annual gas consumption. According to the newspaper, the storage facility, owned by the Russian gas company Gazprom, is now empty, although it is supposed to be used for a strategic gas reserve, which is necessary in the event of a possible interruption in supplies.