The ailing gas importer Uniper has submitted an application to the federal government for stabilization measures after the cutback in Russian gas supplies. The proposal also provides for equity components that would lead to a relevant federal investment in Uniper, as the company announced in a mandatory announcement to the stock exchange on Friday. Accordingly, Uniper also proposes being able to pass on price increases to customers. The measures were aimed at ending the current accumulation of significant losses and covering Uniper’s liquidity needs.
It was also said that Uniper’s major shareholder Fortum was also in talks with the federal government about the negative effects of the current gas supply restrictions on Uniper. Fortum’s proposal provides for a restructuring of Uniper – with the aim of establishing a security of supply company owned by the federal government.
The Bundestag and Bundesrat had previously passed legal changes to facilitate possible federal aid for ailing energy companies such as Uniper. Uniper plays a central role in Germany’s energy supply and supplies many municipal utilities.
However, the group cannot currently pass on additional costs when purchasing gas to customers due to the throttling of Russian gas deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. The company had announced that this would result in significant financial burdens.
As Uniper has now announced, the proposal submitted with the application for state stabilization measures is initially based on a “fair distribution of costs”. The group refers to the Energy Security Act. This provides, for example, for price increases to be passed on to all gas customers.
In addition, the proposal provides for additional outside capital by increasing a KfW credit line that has not yet been drawn. The credit line is two billion euros. The measures should also protect Uniper’s investment grade.
As the German Press Agency learned from government circles on Friday, there have not yet been any decisions on concrete measures at Uniper. A multi-billion dollar investment by the federal government in Uniper via a stake in equity is possible. However, a mix with the possibility of Uniper passing on high gas price increases to customers is also conceivable.