The CEOs of Cepsa, Maarten Wetselaar, and Repsol, Josu Jon Imaz, agreed this Wednesday to support the proposal of the Spanish and Portuguese governments to cap the price of gas to contain the escalation in electricity prices. “These are very difficult and complex times and extraordinary measures are needed. I understand the reasons that have given rise to this measure”, assured Wetselaar during his speech at the New Economy Forum in Madrid. The director of Cepsa did not rule out that these types of measures could be extended in the Iberian Peninsula and even implemented in other countries as the war in Ukraine drags on.
Imaz also defended the measure as "reasonable" at a "time like the present" to distribute the rise in prices between consumers and producers and did so before the combative president of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán, with whom he participated in a business meeting of the Confederation Business of Bizkaia in Bilbao. Galán again charged against the measure, assuring that "it will not bring good consequences."
Like Wetselaar, Imaz is also of the opinion that the war will not be short and asked all the governments of the European Union to be very transparent with the consequences of the war and the cost it will entail for consumers. “Today the 150 bcm of gas that Europe receives from Russia cannot be replaced. There is no way to cover practically 40% of that gas in Europe and that is going to cause a brutal tension in the supply for next winter, ”he assured, according to statements collected by the Efe agency.
The Repsol director did not hide his concern. "We must reflect on how we address the supply security risks that may arise over the coming months," he assured, while calling for good planning to deal with this situation, focus the measures, and above all " that citizens be informed of what is to come,” he warned.
Regarding what is yet to come, the directors of both oil companies called for a new focus on energy transition policies. While Imaz insisted on the mistake of focusing everything on electrification, Wetselaar focused on the opportunity offered by green hydrogen. "Spain can become an exporter of this molecule and provide it to the rest of the countries of the European Union," he said. For this, he added, we must bet on making it profitable by boosting demand and lowering the price of electricity, necessary to produce it, to about 20 or 25 euros per MWh.