Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Germany nationalizes country’s biggest gas importer Uniper 

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Market Desk (online): The German government said Wednesday that it has agreed to nationalize the country’s biggest natural gas importer, Uniper, expanding state intervention in the industry to prevent an energy shortage resulting from Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The deal with Uniper builds on a rescue package agreed to in July and features a capital increase of US8bn (equivalent same euros) that Germany will finance. As part of the agreement, the government will gain a 99% stake in the energy supplier, which until now was controlled by Finland-based Fortum. The Finnish government has the largest stake in Fortum.

German Finance Minister Robert Habeck said the nationalization of Uniper was a “necessary” step. This will ensure the security of gas supply for Germany. He also said that Germany has been able to fill 90% of its gas storage capacity ahead of the upcoming winter despite the Russian gas supply being stopped. It means—overall we managed the situation. ‘ 

“Uniper must say goodbye to coal and gas, and become a relevant actor in the energy transition,” Olaf Bandt, chairman of the German environmental group BUND.

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