German government nationalises Russian gas giant subsidiary
On Monday the German government announced that it would nationalise SEFE, the daughter company of billion-dollar Russian energy corporation Gazprom.
Germany nationalises Russian gas company
In further efforts to take control of the country's energy supplies, the German government announced on Monday that it would nationalise a subsidiary of the Russian energy company Gazprom.
Securing Energy for Europe GmbH (SEFE), previously named Gazprom Germania, manages Germany’s largest gas storage facility in the town of Rehden in Lower Saxony.
Following Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine the German government took control of the international company in April. However, who officially owned the company remained unclear until yesterday.
The move comes after a decision by the EU commission over the weekend to offer the Germany-based Russian subsidiary 225,6 million euros to aid the process of nationalisation.
Why is Germany nationalising the former Gazprom company?
The invasion of Ukraine meant that Germany’s access to energy was suddenly compromised. The past months have seen Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government reinvigorate Germany’s nuclear power production, take a 99-percent stake in gas giant Uniper, use record amounts of green energy and hastily fill the country’s gas supplies ahead of winter.
The government claims that nationalising SEFE is a further necessary step to regaining energy security in Germany as the Russian invasion continues.
Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action said in a statement on Monday that the previously uncertain ownership of SEFE and subsequent reluctance of banks and partners to do business with SEFE “jeopardised the continuation of [the company’s] business operations and thus the gas supply".
Upon nationalisation Gazprom will lose its company shareholdings and the German government will offer the company a 13,8 billion-dollar loan as part of a debt-equity swap arrangement.