The European Union will proceed with plans to establish joint purchases of critical energy transition minerals and hydrogen after the successful outcome of the first joint gas purchases on a new EU platform, the Financial Times reported on Monday.
Last week, the EU announced the successful outcome of the first-ever international tender for joint purchasing of EU gas supplies. During this tender, the EU managed to attract bids from 25 supplying companies equivalent to more than 13.4 billion cubic meters of gas (bcm) – surpassing the 11.6 bcm of joint demand that EU companies submitted through the recently established AggregateEU mechanism.
“EU companies will now be able to negotiate the terms of the supply contracts directly with the supplying companies, with no involvement of the Commission,” the EU said.
European Commission Vice President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, Maros Sefcovic, said, commenting on the tender,
“This is a remarkable success for an instrument that did not exist some five months ago. The Commission has played its role as aggregator and matchmaker, and now it is for the respective parties to conclude their agreements. It is a win-win for all parties.”
The EU has more than 110 companies subscribed to the so-called AggregateEU joint gas purchase mechanism and more firms subscribe every day, he noted.
The EU plans the second round of demand aggregation and tendering for the second half of June, while three more rounds of joint gas purchases will follow before the end of this year, Sefcovic said.
The joint gas purchase mechanism could be used as a “blueprint” for joint purchases of key critical minerals and hydrogen, he said, as quoted by FT. Companies from the Middle East have expressed interest in selling hydrogen in the EU, the Commission Vice President added.
The EU is looking to ditch Russian gas supply by 2027 and diversify its supply chain of the minerals critical to the energy transition.