Germany nationalizes its biggest natural gas importer

The German government will hold about 99% of Uniper and 8% of its Finnish parent company. Fortum (FOJCF)German Economy Minister Robert Habeck told reporters in Berlin on Wednesday.

Uniper provides 40% of the country’s gas supply and is crucial for large companies and private consumers in Europe’s largest economy.

In July, Chancellor Olaf Schulz announced that the government would step in to bail out Uniper with a €15 billion ($15.3 billion) package, after months of Russian supply cuts and spot market price hikes. After kneeling down.

Under the rescue deal, the government pledged to provide €7.7 billion ($7.8 billion) to cover potential future losses, while state-owned bank KfW agreed to increase its credit facility by €7 billion ($7.1 billion). .

But Habeck said the situation had “deteriorated dramatically” since Russia cut off gas supplies to Europe indefinitely through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline on September 1, citing an oil spill.

Russian gas has had to be replaced with expensive alternatives, driving up consumer bills.

Although gas supplies via Nord Stream 1 are suspended, Germany’s gas reserves are more than 90% full, European storage provider GIE AGSI+ said on its website.

Still, the European energy crisis is not going away.

Habeck said the country could “get through the winter well” without Russian gas, but warned of “really empty” supply levels in the period ahead.

Subsidy details for UK businesses

Germany is not alone in grappling with gas supply shortages. Together, EU states and the UK have already committed. Over $500 billion in aid To help households and businesses cope with the rising cost of energy.

The British government on Wednesday gave more details of its plan to save the economy in the coming winter. It said it would cut electricity and gas costs for businesses to less than half the market rate for an initial six-month period.

The announcement follows a pledge earlier this month to cap average household energy bills by £2,500 ($2,834) a year for the next two years.

UK Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarting said he would detail the overall cost of the program on Friday.

Analysts have said the total bill could reach £150 billion ($170 billion). With tax cuts promised by new prime minister Liz Truss that could blow up Britain’s government debt at a time when debt service costs are rising and the pound is already Trading at 37-year low As investors worry about the fragile health of the British economy.

— Anna Kuban contributed to this article.

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