Swiss gas consumers protected from shortfalls

A new agreement between Switzerland and France will protect Swiss gas consumers should there be a shortfall in supplies, the environment ministry said on Tuesday.

This content was published on June 23, 2009 minutes

The agreement, in the form of an exchange of letters between Swiss Environment Minister Moritz Leuenberger and his French counterpart, Jean-Louis Borloo, means that French customers will no longer have privileged access to the emergency gas supplies stored underground.

Since Switzerland's geology is not suitable for underground gas storage, it has a share in storage facilities near the French city of Lyon.

However, a decree promulgated in France in 2006 could have discriminated against Switzerland, leaving its consumers short if there were a sudden increase in demand or if supplies from abroad were cut.

The negotiations which led to the new agreement had been underway since the end of 2006.

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