Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer will seek to secure more natural gas supplies from the UAE during a visit to Abu Dhabi this week, with the aim of reducing his country’s heavy energy dependence on Russia, his office said Monday.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Austria has struggled to find alternative sources of natural gas, which is needed for heating, and some energy-intensive industries that produce goods such as steel and paper. Most of Austria’s electricity comes from renewable energy sources, in particular from hydroelectricity.
“We are well prepared for the coming winter. Our storage facilities are almost full. We have also significantly reduced our dependence on Russian gas from 80% to 50%,” said Nehamer’s office. in a note.
Nehamer will travel to Abu Dhabi with his Finance Minister Magnus Brunner and Green Party Minister of Energy and Environment Leonor Geusler.
“We are now working to secure supplies for the next heating season. So I will travel with Magnus Brunner and Leonor Geusler to Abu Dhabi on Wednesday afternoon to negotiate on how to further reduce our dependence on Russia and increase security of supply for 2023- 2024 season, “said the Austrian Chancellor.
Austria and the Mubadala sovereign wealth fund, owned by the Abu Dhabi government, are the largest shareholders of the Austrian oil and gas company (OMV).
Nehamer added that the UAE is an “important strategic partner” in Austria’s efforts to ensure security of supply.
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