Germany to nationalize Russian gas subsidiary – Der Spiegel

Gazprom’s unit will reportedly be seized without compensation

The German government will take control of Securing Energy for Europe (SEFE), formerly Gazprom Germania, a subsidiary of Russian energy giant Gazprom, Der Spiegel reported on Thursday, citing its sources.

“After the nationalization of the Dusseldorf energy group Uniper, the federal government is planning further drastic interventions in the German gas market. According to Spiegel information, SEFE, which is already under federal trusteeship, is also to be handed over to the state,” the outlet wrote.

The move is linked to the bailout of major German gas importer VNG, which signed a large contract on gas deliveries with Gazprom Germania, Der Spiegel wrote, adding: “Russia no longer serves it, which is why VNG has to buy a replacement at great expense on the spot markets.”

In late August, Die Welt reported that the German authorities secretly created a holding to nationalize Gazprom’s Berlin-based unit.

Negotiations between the German authorities, the state of Baden-Wurttemberg, the municipalities in Saxony, and the companies are in full-swing, according to the newspaper. The takeover, which is deemed by Berlin as a means to secure national gas supplies, does not imply “any compensation payments from the federal government for the Russian owners.” 

This comes on the heels of the decision to nationalize Uniper, the country’s largest natural gas importer, as part of efforts to keep the industry afloat amid the energy crunch.

Last week, Germany also took control of a Russian-owned oil refinery, putting a Rosneft unit under the trusteeship of the industry regulator and taking over the Schwedt plant.

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