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Thursday, Dec 08, 2022

Brussels green-lights nationalization of Gazprom’s German arm

Brussels green-lights nationalization of Gazprom’s German arm

European Commission approves €225.6M aid measure to support SEFE Securing Energy.
The European Commission green-lit Germany's plan to take 100 percent ownership of energy giant SEFE Securing Energy for Europe, formerly known as Gazprom Germania.

The EU's executive arm approved a €225.6 million German aid measure to support the company, currently placed under Berlin's trusteeship.

"We welcome the change of ownership of SEFE, which will enable Germany to search for new gas suppliers while ensuring security of supply," Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager said in a statement Saturday.

Energy companies based in Germany have been hit with liquidity crunches and financial losses after Russia’s Gazprom stopped delivering agreed gas supplies in the context of the Ukraine war.

In September, the German government said it was looking at bailing out SEFE. Berlin has moved to nationalize other energy giants including Uniper and the local Rosneft subsidiary, and is reportedly in talks with VNG.

"The Commission found that the German measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State," according to the statement about SEFE.

In late October, Brussels proposed to tweak crisis state aid rules once again to allow governments to provide state guarantees to energy companies in order to cover the cost of trading activities as prices remain high and volatile.
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