First train with Czech reserve fuel arrives from Bavaria

Photo: Czech Television

The head of the state body tasked with keeping emergency reserves, the Administration for State Reserves, confirmed on Thursday the first arrival of a shipment of Czech fuel from Germany. Czech fuel had been kept at a storage site owned by Viktoriagruppe which later declared insolvency. The fuel, worth an estimated 2.1 billion crowns (around 44 million euros) was the subject of a legal tussle, but an agreement was reached over the course of the summer on its return.

Photo: Czech Television
One shipment down and… more to come – that is the situation on Thursday, as confirmed by the head of the Administration of State Reserves Pavel Švagr. At stake is more than a billion crowns worth of reserve fuel the Czech state keeps across the border, but bankruptcy by the company in charge, Viktoriagruppe, significantly complicated matters. The new owner, Krailling Oils development, ensured matters would get back on track. The transport over 80 million liters of crude oil from the storage facility of the bankrupt Viktoriagruppe company in Germany’s Krailling won’t happen overnight: the process is expected to take between six and eight months. But it is good news that the wheels are turning. More details about when additional shipments are to be released on Friday.

Loading of the fuel onto a train at the storage facility in Krailling, Bavaria, began on Tuesday and the train itself left a day later. It will require an estimated 70 train shipments in all, to bring all of the oil back. The transport is being overseen by the state organization Cepro and handled by ČD Cargo. The head of the Administration for States Reserves, Pavel Švagr, said in the past he expected the return shipment to the Czech Republic would come to around 60 million crowns.

As for how and why the reserve fuel was kept in Germany in the first place? That was made possible by an amendment in 2010 to a contract dating back to 2004. The former management at the Administration of State Reserves maintained the arrangement would save the Czech Republic tens of millions of crowns in storage costs. According to Pavel Švagr, however, the former administration, however, failed to anticipate all potential risks and potential business complications relative to the contract.