Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Germany is close to taking over Uniper power utility from its Finnish state-owned counterpart Fortum.
Uniper pointed out that it was wrapping up negotiations with the German government and Fortum to amend the bailout agreement from July, according to Reuters reporting on Tuesday.
Uniper, Germany’s largest importer of Russian gas, is struggling to remain solvent as price of fossil fuels continues to rise and Moscow reduced natural gas supplies to Germany.
The German government initially bailed out Uniper in July and is planning to inject additional 8 billion euro into the company to keep it afloat.
The move would bring the Uniper bailout package to roughly 29 billion euro, with the company noting in a statement that “it is envisaged that the Federal Government will obtain a significant majority stake in Uniper.”
The utility stressed that parties have not yet reached a final agreement.
German energy sector struggling
EU’s sanctions against Russia and Moscow’s retaliation have affected the energy sector in Germany. Earlier this year, the government put under trusteeship Securing Energy for Europe (SEFE), formerly Gazprom Germania, and Rosneft Deutshcland, subsidiaries of Russian energy companies.
Fortum noted that the agreement with Germany will include the “return of the financing Fortum granted to Uniper” which it estimates at 8 billion euro.
Fortum started investing in Uniper in 2017, which the German company resisted over concerns that the new owner could break it up.
Tytti Tuppurainen, Finnish Minister of European Affairs and Ownership Steering, stressed that it was too early to comment on the agreement before it is finalised.
“We consider it important that Fortum gets back the 8-billion-euro funding it gave to Uniper, and, overall, that Finnish taxpayers won’t be subjected to unreasonable expenses because of this,” she noted.
Harald Seegatz, employee representative at Uniper’s supervisory board, pointed out in an interview with the Rheinische Post daily that the company needs “the state as the main shareholder in order to survive the gas crisis and to master the energy transition in the long term.”
According to sources, the final agreement on planned nationalisation of the utility will be released later today.