The weekly “Der Spiegel” informed about the plans of the government of Olaf Scholz. Berlin wants to nationalize the Securing Energy for Europe (Sefe) company owned by Russia’s Gazprom. The company is already under the trusteeship of the Federal Network Agency.
A spokeswoman for the German economy ministry confirmed DPA that talks were underway in the government about the future of Sefe. However, she refused to give any details.
Another such decision of Germany
Der Spiegel points out that Sefe may become the next energy company to be taken over by the German state to save it from bankruptcy. On Wednesday, the government in Berlin announced the nationalization of the largest gas importer in Germany, Uniper. The company was on the verge of bankruptcy due to the drastic increase in the prices of energy resources, including gas.
The newspaper claims that the planned state involvement in Sefe is related to the rescue of the gas importer VNG from Leipzig, which asked for state aid in early September. VNG has concluded a large contract for the supply of Russian gas through its subsidiary Gazprom. However, Russia is not delivering, so VNG has to buy expensive gas in the spot markets. According to sources in the company, it costs the company several million euros every day.-
Sefe, and indirectly the German state, pays VNG for failing to deliver. The funds for this purpose come from the KfW loan in the amount of EUR 9 billion. VNG, however, had to fight for this in court. Sefe temporarily suspended payments, which worried the banks that are securing VNG’s liquidity. Sefe’s nationalization will pave the way for the company to provide billions of additional support, possibly from the state budget or the gas tax, if it goes into effect in October. In this way, the VNG is also to be protected – writes “Spiegel.