Germany nationalizes gas company Uniper to protect energy supplies

BERLIN — The German government announced Wednesday that it would nationalize the country’s biggest importer of Russian gas, Uniper, expanding state intervention aimed at

preventing an energy shortage because of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The move builds on a 15 billion euro rescue package from late July that was intended to stabilize the

gas giant, which supplies 40 percent of the natural gas used across Germany. Through the additional 8 billion euro capital increase, the German government will now take ownership

of 99 percent of the company. The deal still needs to be approved by the European Commission. E.U. proposes emergency energy measures as Russia’s war tests Europe

German Economic Affairs and Climate Minister Robert Habeck said Wednesday the step became necessary as the situation has changed over the last few weeks. Conditions have worsened,

he said, particularly since Russia halted all gas deliveries through the Nord Stream pipeline in early September. “The decision was made,” he said at the news conference,

“to ensure security of supply for Germany.” Uniper, which is one of Europe’s largest gas companies, has struggled in the wake of the energy market turmoil following

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The company, which imports roughly 50 percent of its gas from Russia, announced that reduced deliveries led to a 12 billion euro loss in the first

half of 2022. Klaus-Dieter Maubach, Uniper’s CEO, said the move to nationalization was necessary due to the worsening conditions and pledged that the company would do

“its part in overcoming the energy crisis.”