Russian gas supplies to Germany via the important Nord Stream 1 pipeline were reduced to zero again on Wednesday, Germany's Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has confirmed.
"Gas deliveries through Nord Stream 1 have been suspended by the Russian side with reference to alleged maintenance," the agency said.
This is the second time that supplies are cut due to maintenance work. After gas flows were resumed in late July, capacities were further reduced from 40 percent to 20 percent shortly afterwards.
To be prepared for winter, the German government has set stricter requirements for filling gas storage facilities. The interim target of 75 percent by September has already been exceeded as the country's storages are now 84 percent full.
"Germany is better prepared for the renewed 'maintenance' of Nord Stream 1," BNetzA President Klaus Mueller said. The final target of 95 percent of capacity is to be reached by November.
Europe's largest economy is relying heavily on gas imports. Last year, 95 percent of natural gas fed into Germany's grid was imported, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis).
To become less dependent on gas imports, the German government passed a new law to speed up the construction of pipelines and land-based and floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals.
German Economic Affairs Minister Robert Habeck has signed contracts for the lease of four floating LNG terminals, with funding of 2.94 billion euros (2.94 billion U.S. dollars) available. Two ships are to be put into operation already at the end of 2022 or in early 2023, according to the government.
The German government's recent decisions and actions would "enable us to get through this winter well," Chancellor Olaf Scholz told journalists on Wednesday. (1 euro = 1 U.S. dollar)