Austria: € 2 billion grant package for

OMV refinery in Schwechat. Photo source: OMV Group.

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The Austrian government on Sunday unveiled a package of measures worth two billion euros to help households and companies cope with rising energy prices in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Reuters quoted Agerpres as saying.

Measures announced by the Vienna authorities include a 50% increase in subsidies for commuters, further reductions in prices for public transport and a reduction in surcharges for natural gas and electricity.

“Many people depend on their car and can’t make the switch in a short time. These people need help. We also support companies that suffer from high energy prices “, announced the Ministry of Energy.

The package unveiled on Sunday also includes aid for diesel users in the agricultural sector, SMEs that use a lot of fuel and companies that switch to alternative energy.

The Austrian Ministry of Energy estimates that the announced measures will allow a family commuting 50 kilometers a day to save around € 900 by mid-2023, while a hotel with 50 employees will save around € 20,000. euro and a large industrial company will save about three million euros.

European finance ministers agreed last week to subsidize fuel for households and provide support to companies affected by rising energy prices following the invasion of Ukraine.

Russia is the bloc’s main energy supplier, importing 45 percent of its natural gas needs from Russia, more than a quarter of its oil and more than half of its coal.

Austria supplies 80% of Russia ‘s natural gas needs under a 2040 contract.

Austrian OMV Group CEO Alfred Stern warned on Saturday that replacing Russia’s energy supplies would not be easy and would require major investments in infrastructure, such as gas terminals.

“Austria does not have direct access to liquefied gas terminals. At present, there are only limited options for bringing liquefied gas to Austria, “said Alfred Stern, adding that a termination of the contract with Gazprom is not currently being considered.