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Interview with Carlos Pancho of Knauber Erdgas: „We will have to comply with levies for natural gas"

Interview with Carlos Pancho of Knauber Erdgas : „We will have to comply with levies for natural gas"

Rising gas prices pose challenges for energy suppliers in Bonn and elsewhere. The longer the gas shortage lasts, the more often they have to buy gas at current conditions. Carlos Pancho, Business Unit Manager of Knauber Erdgas GmbH, speaks about the current purchasing situation.

Suppliers of natural gas are increasingly reaching their limits when it comes to purchasing on the energy markets. Knauber Erdgas GmbH is one of the companies confronted with new challenges. The Bonn-based company is part of the Knauber Group and has been supplying private and commercial customers with natural gas since 2011. Electricity is also part of the subsidiary's portfolio. In an interview with GA, Carlos Pancho, Business Unit Manager of Knauber Erdgas GmbH, talks about the current situation. He did not want to comment on the company's procurement strategy or the scale of its gas purchases.

GA: For months, gas prices have been rising, and deliveries through the Nordstream 1 pipeline can no longer be relied on. How has the Ukraine war influenced your purchasing behaviour?

Carlos Pancho: The war in Ukraine has led to a significant shortage on the supply side. In addition, there are risk surcharges from upstream suppliers for gas deliveries. Every company that now procures energy has to deal with these new factors.

Where do you get the natural gas for Knauber customers?

Pancho: We procure our gas bilaterally from our trading partners, with whom we have a long and trusting relationship. The prices are based on the spot market, so we keep an eye on them every day. We purchase the natural gas in Germany and do not import it ourselves. That's why it's impossible to say which kilowatt hour comes from which country.

How long-term do you plan your gas purchases?

Pancho: Our procurement is designed with foresight for the period in which we conclude our customer contracts and issue price guarantees on the price of natural gas. The customers who have had price guarantees with us in the past are now benefiting from previously moderate prices. However, following the government's decision to impose new levies on all natural gas consumers, suppliers will have to comply with this requirement.

So will your customers have to expect higher costs in the near future?

Pancho: You can follow the development of prices in the news every day. The price level we are now offering for new customer contracts and expiring existing contracts is correspondingly high, because here we have to procure the energy quantities at current conditions. In contrast to basic energy suppliers, the contract terms and conclusions are decisive for us as to when we make price adjustments. So we can’t make a blanket statement on price adjustments, as customer contracts are constantly being agreed and extended, and here we have to take the current market situation into account. We take our responsibility towards our customers very seriously and try with all available forces to keep price adjustments within limits as best as possible.

In March, the EU countries decided to jointly purchase gas from third countries. Do you think this makes sense? And what would it mean for Knauber Erdgas?

Pancho: It is existentially important that politicians deal with energy security and create alternatives. The possible consequences for Knauber would be the same as for other suppliers. The EU itself will not buy gas, but the large import companies within the EU will. That is why these companies are systemically relevant. For us as a medium-sized family business, it is important that the measures that are now being considered are also suitable for independent suppliers and do not exclusively take into account the view of the large corporations and municipal suppliers.

Original text: Nina Bärschneider

Translation: Jean Lennox