What ever it takes? The German government is ready to save Uniper

According to Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s words today, the German government is ready to save Uniper. This gas colossus from the country of our western neighbors is in serious financial trouble after Russian President Vladimir Putin cut it off from about 60 percent of contracted gas supplies in mid-June. Uniper’s shares fell by almost twelve percent on Thursday, they are down by almost 41 percent in the last month.

Germany is in talks with energy company Uniper about a possible government bailout. The CEO of Uniper, Klaus-Dieter Maubach, said that the negotiations include possible guarantees, an increase in credit limits or even taking over the state’s stake in Uniper. The chairman of Uniper’s works council called on the state to help and possibly gain a majority in the company.

Uniper said it had received only 40 percent of contractually agreed gas volumes from Gazprom since June 16. The company, which already asked the state bank KfW for a loan of two billion euros (49.5 billion crowns) before the war in Ukraine, has to buy the missing gas on the stock exchange, which is dramatically more expensive for it. In this way, Uniper pays an additional 30 million euros (roughly 740 million crowns) per day. Scholz’s government will therefore probably have to provide aid to the company to allow it to survive in reasonable condition.

Uniper is the largest German customer of Russian gas. Roughly half of the gas it takes under long-term contracts is from Russia.

Without Russian gas, Germany will fall into recession. Millions of jobs will be affected, survey warns

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A complete interruption of natural gas supplies from Russia could reduce the performance of the German economy by 12.7 percent in the second half. This follows from a study prepared by the Prognos Institute for the Bavarian economic association vbw. According to the chief economist of the Prognos Institute, Michael Böhmer, the German economy would thus “slide into a deep recession”, writes the DPA agency.

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Uniper also resells part of this gas to suppliers in the Czech Republic. Uniper’s financial problems can thus be transferred to its customers in the Czech Republic, i.e. also to Czech households and companies. In practice, this means either a significant increase in the price of goods, or even a threat to the supplies themselves. This would be a “blow” not only for domestic households, but especially for companies and industry.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine revealed the dependence of the European Union and especially Germany on Russian gas supplies. Governments are now urgently looking for alternative energy sources such as liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Fearing public protests over higher energy bills, Berlin is now rapidly filling storage tanks for the winter. They are currently 61 percent filled, by October it should be 80 percent.

Gazprom

The Kremlin is shocking. Gazprom won’t pay dividends despite the big profits, the company’s shares are falling sharply

The Russian gas company Gazprom will not pay any dividends for last year. The last time it made such a decision was in 1998. The company’s share price, over which the Kremlin has control, fell by more than a quarter in response to the announcement, Reuters writes.

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Robert Habeck

Dalibor Martínek: What will happen when Putin turns off the gas? We kiss the ring to the Germans

Follow German Economy Minister Robert Habeck. He became a hero similar to the legendary Jean-Paul Belmond. He’s here for a while, then there again, putting out one trouble after another. So, it actually extinguishes a single, but key problem. Gas. In Arabia, he negotiated liquefied gas contracts that would replace the Russian one. At the beginning of March, he agreed to build a terminal in the northern German Brunsbüttel near Hamburg.

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