Energy crisis not over yet, RWE CEO warns

·1-min read
Illustration shows Electric power transmission pylon miniatures and RWE logo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European energy crisis is not over yet, the chief executive of Germany's largest utility said on Friday, even though gas storage levels remain high and despite what is seen as a less severe than expected hit to the economy.

"Europe came through the winter well, helped by the fact that it was quite a mild one," Markus Krebber said according to a speech made available ahead of the group's annual general meeting scheduled for May 4.

Germany's gas caverns are still two-thirds full, a level unusually high for this point of the year, reflecting efforts to avoid another situation where a rush to fill storage tanks could cause prices to soar.

"However, the crisis is not over yet. The necessary investment in our energy infrastructure must be driven forward with unchanged determination. That also includes building up and expanding additional capacity for gas imports in the short term."

This, Krebber said, included long-term infrastructure for imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), adding that RWE would hand over floating LNG terminals chartered on behalf of the government to state-owned entities in the foreseeable future.

Likewise, RWE said it would not operate longer than necessary coal-fired power plants that were made part of a security reserve to keep the lights on in Germany during the energy crisis, triggered by the end of Russian gas supplies.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Vera Eckert, Editing by Rachel More and MIranda Murray)