Germany takes full control of Uniper

Germany has agreed to buy Fortum’s stake in gas and LNG importer, Uniper, to stabilize the firm and prevent an energy shortage.

Germany’s government, Uniper, and Fortum agreed on an amendment to the package of measures announced on July 22 that would “ensure the long-term stabilization of Uniper in light of the further deteriorating situation in the energy markets,” Uniper said in a statement on Wednesday.

The amended stabilization package would enable Uniper to “continue to fulfil its system-critical role for the energy supply in Germany,” it said.

“To date, Uniper has accumulated close to 8.5 billion euros in gas-related losses and cannot continue to fulfil its role as a critical provider of security of supply as a privately-owned company,” Fortum said in a separate statement.

The newly found solution therefore involves German state control, it said.

Germany intends to underwrite an 8 billion euros ($7.91 billion) equity capital increase of Uniper at 1.70 euros per share, with KfW providing further bridge financing as required to Uniper until the capital increase is implemented.

In connection with the capital injection, Germany intends to buy all of Fortum‘s shares in Uniper for 1.70 euros per share, or about 0.5 billion euros in total.

98.5 percent of Uniper

Upon completion of the capital injection and share purchase, the German State will own about 98.5 percent of Uniper.

“Today’s agreement provides clarity on the ownership structure, allows us to continue our business and to fulfil our role as a system-critical energy supplier. This secures the energy supply for companies, municipal utilities, and consumers,” Uniper CEO Klaus-Dieter Maubach said in the statement.

He said the amendment of the stabilization package announced in July was necessary against the backdrop of the further intensification of the energy crisis.

“At Uniper, we are aware of our responsibility for Germany and Europe. We are committed to doing our part to overcome this crisis and to restructure the energy supply in this country,” Maubach said.

German LNG imports

Uniper recently signed a deal to buy LNG from Australia’s Woodside.

Germany currently has no regasification facilities but the country is fast-tracking LNG imports to reduce reliance on Russian gas and boost energy security.

RWE and Uniper previously chartered four FSRUs on behalf of the German government.

These vessels include the two units RWE chartered from Hoegh LNG, and the Dynagas-owned 174,000-cbm Transgas Force and Transgas Power that will go on charter to Uniper.

In addition, Germany recently chose E.ON, Belgium-based Tree Energy Solutions (TES), and a unit of France’s Engie to deploy an FSRU chartered from US player Excelerate Energy in Wilhelmshaven.

Uniper has already started building Germany’s first FSRU-based LNG facility in Wilhelmshaven and expects to commission it this winter.

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