Austria places a minimum stockholding obligation on industry.
The Stockholding and Reporting Law obliges all importers to hold emergency stocks equivalent to 25% of their previous year's net imports, plus an additional 10% to account for unavailable stocks. Thus, the actual stock obligation effectively amounts to 27.5% of the previous year's imports.
Stocks counted towards meeting the obligation can be crude oil or oil products, and must be owned by the stockholder. Oil products covered by stockholding regulations are divided into three groupings: gasolines; kerosene, jet fuel and gas oils; and fuel oils.
All importers (also distributors and consumers where applicable) of crude oil and/or oil products (including biofuels) are subject to stockholding requirements. In order to guarantee electricity supply, operators of fossil fuel power stations with a generating capacity of at least 50 Megawatt (MW) are also obliged to hold fuel stocks. These stocks must be sufficient to continue supplying electricity at maximum capacity for 30 days or to cover internal consumption needs. Such stocks must be held on site, unless government permission is granted for use of a nearby storage site with adequate transport facilities.
Companies may fulfil their stockpiling obligations in one of three ways. The company itself may build and manage stocks. Two or more companies may enter a common stockholding agreement. Or, companies may choose to transfer the stockholding obligation to a licensed stockholder with federal guarantee.
Austria requires all compulsory stocks to be held within its national territory. Austria has no bilateral stockholding agreements with other countries and does not permit the use of stock tickets to meet minimum stockholding requirements.
Most importers choose to hold their stocks at the private, non-profit stockholding company ELG, which is an official licensed stockholding entity, privately owned by OMV and three international companies. The ELG holds more than 98% of the Austrian compulsory stocks.
While ELG stocks fall under the definition of “ public stocks", these amounts were reported as industry stocks until December 2012 as Austrian data reporting to the IEA did not separate ELG stocks from industry held stocks. From January 2013 these stocks have been reported as “public stocks”.