February 8, 2023 6:53 am

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A Cold Winter Approaches Europe Amid Chinese Halt on LNG resales 

The latest development is an addition to unending problems for Europe, which has been facing an energy crisis ever since the onset of the Ukraine-Russia War.

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China halts LNG to Europe

Beijing has ordered its state-owned natural gas importers to stop resales of LNG cargoes to exporters in the International market. The resales by Chinese companies acted as a relief for European nations, suffering from an energy crisis. The decision was undertaken to ensure enough gas for domestic needs this winter.

The latest development is an addition to unending problems for Europe, which has been facing an energy crisis ever since the onset of the Ukraine-Russia War.

No More Chinese Shipment of Gas to Europe

The NDRC or National Development and Reform Commission has ordered Chinese energy firms to stop the shipping of LNG.

The decision was taken to ensure the continued natural gas supply for domestic needs in the upcoming winter. The Chinese energy suppliers have been reselling their Russian LNG after the economic slowdown in the country due to the strict zero-Covid policy.

The Chinese shipments proved to be a boon for European nations, suffering from severe energy crunch.

LNG import terminal at the Port of Rotterdam, europe
LNG import terminal at the Port of Rotterdam Photo Credit: Federico Gambarini/AP/Ritzau Scanpix

According to a report, “In August, an estimated more than 4 million tons of Chinese LNG was resold, which is roughly 7% of Europe’s imports in the first half of the year”.

Coldest European Winter?

The Ukraine-Russia War led to an unprecedented energy crisis which has tested European nations on several fronts.

As EU nations initially cut their Russian gas imports, energy prices increased substantially in Europe. Several protests by citizens have rocked nations in Europe as governments have been struggling to control public anger. Though most EU nations have almost filled their gas storage facilities, still uncertainty looms large for winter.

The stockpiling of natural gas by the EU member-states would not be of much help, as stated by an energy expert. “Storage is for peak supply, not for everyday use”, states Massimo Nicolazzi, a Professor of Economics of Energy Sources at the University of Turin.

He further added: “Our maximum storage capacity covers less than half of our winter consumption”.

Buying Firewood and Energy Saving

According to a report, firewood demand has risen in Germany — one of the leading economy among EU member-states.

The Ukraine-Russia War has affected several countries, with Germany suffering the worst. Before the conflict, Germany imported more than half of its natural gas from Russia.

Cities, throughout Europe, are dimming lights an hour early and citizens are being made aware to minimise energy consumption. Paris is turning off Eiffel tower’s lights much early than the usual time while Milan has stopped public fountains.

According to a report, “the public are being encouraged to do their bit by avoiding using household appliances between 4pm and 7pm, stock up on blankets and slow down their driving”.

Governments and local authorities throughout Europe have heeded recommendations to cut back on energy consumption and meet an EU goal of a 15% reduction in energy use by next March.

The Future 

The ongoing Ukraine-Russia War has impacted Europe, not only on a political or financial but also psychological front. The conflict has also stirred thoughts of ‘Brexits’ among several European Union members.

Not only politicians but citizens have been showing anger as to why they have been paying the price of European Union’s sanctions on Russia?

The inability to answer the question by Centrist and Left-wing governments in Europe has also been a major reason for the recent rise of the right wing in the continent.

Yash Rawat
Yash Rawat

Its been hard to express myself so here I am.. writing.

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