(Bloomberg) --

German industrial companies need to ramp up efforts to reduce gas use to avoid a scenario where supply of the fuel is cut off, according to Germany’s Federal Network Agency.

Industrial users should cut their gas use by a fifth, joining households in lowering consumption, agency President Klaus Mueller said in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. Germany’s VCI chemical association has said that savings of only about 2% are feasible, according to the report.

Industrial giants like BASF SE, Thyssenkrupp AG and Evonik Industries AG are facing a gas squeeze as Russia slashes deliveries, sending prices soaring. Germany is redoubling efforts to fill gas storage tanks before heavier use in the winter to keep households warm and factories running.

A restart of gas flowing through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline following regular maintenance has improved the situation somewhat, said Mueller, following concerns Russia wouldn’t turn supplies back on. 

“Chances are that we can avoid an emergency situation on gas supply this winter,” said Mueller. “This hinges on additional supplies from other countries, Nord Stream 1 deliveries staying at the current level and if we can meet the targeted savings on gas consumption.

From October, Germany will start a platform where companies can sell gas they’ve contracted but don’t require, he said. 

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