In Germany, stopping gas supplies is affecting

In Germany, stopping gas supplies is affecting

Germany is preparing for a possible sudden shutdown of Russian gas supplies with a package of emergency measures, say sources close to the case, who added that the package could also include the nationalization of major companies.

In this context, preparations are coordinated by the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and that they bring to the fore the alert on gas supplies, emphasizing that they are important for the production of steel, plastics and cars in the country.

Last year, Russian gas was responsible for 55% of German imports, and Berlin authorities are under pressure to cut a business deal with Russia, which critics say helps fund the war in Ukraine.

However, even though Berlin has officially announced that it wants to reduce its dependence on Russian gas, this cannot happen until mid-2024.

Moscow could interrupt deliveries to Germany at any time

German authorities now fear that Moscow may decide to unilaterally cut off gas supplies and want to be prepared in the event of such a scenario, while sources close to the situation told Reuters that the Berlin government would grant new ones. loans and guarantees to support energy companies, to help them cope with rising prices, and could take over under the umbrella of the state a number of vital companies such as refineries.

Specifically, in April this year, Berlin approved a legislative amendment that would ultimately allow it to take control of energy companies. The German government is now discussing how it could use the measure in practice, for example by taking control of the PCK refinery operated by the Russian oil group Rosneft in Schwedt, near the border with Poland. This refinery is responsible for most of Germany’s Russian oil imports and could be affected by a European Union embargo on Russian crude oil.

In addition, sources say that Germany could take over stakes in other shares, after Berlin made a similar move in 2018 when the public development bank KfW took over 20% of the shares of the 50Hertz energy network operator in the idea of to reject a takeover bid from the Chinese company State Grid.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the package of measures is not complete and that the takeover of minority packages to companies as well as an intervention at the Schwedt refinery are still being analyzed without a final decision being taken.

For the future, Germany is considering how it could streamline natural gas in an emergency. The regulator is considering whether to give priority to industrial consumers over household ones, which would be a reversal of the current policy in which companies affected by gas supply disruptions are the first to be affected.