Danish Energy Company Vows to Cut Ties With Russia's Gazprom in 2030
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has expressed a wish to make her country "independent of Russian gas as soon as possible", but specified no time frame. According to the energy company Ørsted, it is impossible to sever ties before 2030.
Danish energy firm Ørsted has said it will not renew its current contract with Russian state-owned gas supplier Gazprom, scheduled to expire in 2030.
Previously, Ørsted had come under pressure to extricate itself from its gas contract with Gazprom, as the EU unequivocally condemned Moscow's special operation in Ukraine as an "invasion" and started to seek ways of mitigating its energy dependence on Russia.
Ørsted said that while it condemned Russia's actions in Ukraine, severing ties completely at the current moment was impossible. It also emphasised that the current deal that expires in 2030 won't be renewed.
"Ørsted has a long-term gas purchasing contract with minimum delivery obligations, a so-called 'take or pay' deal for buying gas with Gazprom", the company explained in the statement. "The contract was entered into in 2006 and expires in 2030. The contract cannot be cancelled at the current time".
Ørsted underscored that great strides have been made to reduce partnerships with Russian companies. This includes no longer purchasing Russian biomass or coal for Ørsted power plants and committing to not signing any new contracts with Russian companies.
Last week, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen expressed a desire to make her country "independent of Russian gas as soon as possible", but specified no time frame.
Frederiksen also said Denmark would cooperate with the EU on further sanctions against Russia, including a possible block on gas imports.
Ørsted, for its part, said it supported all political initiatives relating to independence from Russian gas, including political import sanctions, should they be imposed. The company additionally pledged to donate profits from its own sales of Russian gas to humanitarian help in Ukraine, stressing that it doesn't wish to profit from an "aggressive, war-waging nation".
Ørsted (formerly DONG Energy) is Denmark's largest power company and is based in the town of Fredericia. It is the world's largest developer of offshore wind power by the number of offshore wind farms.
Since the start of Russia's special operation in Ukraine, the US and its European allies have slapped numerous Russian businesses and government officials with thousands of sanctions targeting all spheres of life from energy and banking to consumer goods. Hordes of Western companies have also pledged to leave the Russian market, prompting warnings in the Russian parliament that their property be nationalised.