EU energy ministers agreed on price cap of 180 euros per megawatt-hour for natural gas in a meeting in Brussels, the capital of Belgium. After the meeting, EU Commisioner for Energy Kadri Simson and Czech Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Sikela held a joint press conference. Underlining that it was a difficult deal to agree on, Sikela said that they have settled upon on a temporary, effective and realistic mechanism that will protect citizens and businesses from the excessive gas prices experienced this summer and that they have also included measures to keep the European market competitive and attractive for gas suppliers. Pointing out that the agreed mechanism will come into effect under two conditions, Sikela said that the first condition would be that the futures contract traded in TTF exceed 180 euros for 3 working days, and the second would be that the difference between the TTF and the megawatt-hour price of natural gas in global markets would be more than 35 euros.
Stating that the mechanism will remain active for at least 20 working days after it enters into force, Sikela stated that the mechanism will ensure that the natural gas price exceeds the real price and that the 180-euro price cap is not a fixed upper limit, yet a dynamic upper limit that will help remain the supply security or stability of the European Union’s financial markets. He also stated that the mechanism, which will be effective as of February 15, 2023, will automatically be disabled if the price of natural gas falls below 180 euros.
Reminding that it was proposed on 22 November, Simson stated that the agreement was a bold step of EU for responding to the energy crisis.