State-controlled Czech oil company Mero said on Tuesday it has signed a deal to increase the capacity of the Transalpine TAL pipeline so that the Czech Republic will no longer be dependent on Russian oil from 2025.
Under the deal, Mero will finance TAL worth $73 million.
TAL transports oil from the port of Trieste in northern Italy to southern Germany, from where the fuel is sent via other pipelines to the Czech Republic and Austria.
From 2025, the Czech Republic will receive eight million tons of oil per year via the TAL, twice as much as today.
“This agreement is our future, it will cut us off from Russia after 60 years and help us achieve freedom, independence and sovereignty in energy supply,” Mero CEO Jaroslav told reporters. Pantucek.
A member of the European Union with 10.5 million people, the Czech Republic has been less dependent on Russian gas since this year, unlike other countries in Central Europe and the Balkans, which still have a contract with Gazprom, which they agree to pay in roubles.
Two refineries in the Czech Republic received 7.4 million tons of oil last year, 56% of which came from Russia via the Druzhba pipeline.
The European Union imposed a ban on most oil imports from Russia in May 2022, three months after Russia invaded Ukraine, but exempted the Drushpa pipeline.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on Tuesday that Prague had given him time to negotiate the TAL agreement on the exemption.
He hailed the deal as “an important step, a cornerstone of our energy independence from Russia.”
Launched in 1967, TAL is owned by a consortium of eight oil companies including Shell, ENI, ExxonMobil.
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