Uniper has described itself as a “pawn” in the crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia three weeks ago closed the important Nord Stream 1 export pipeline into Germany, citing Western sanctions as hindering operations but European politicians call the argument a pretext for weaponising gas supply.
Uniper relied on long-term supply contracts with Gazprom along with sector peers SEFE – formerly known as Gazprom Germania – and EnBW subsidiary VNG. All three may benefit from proceeds of a planned gas levy from Oct. 1.
Germany commits itself to raising money via the gas levy, to fund bailouts and uphold gas distribution.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline link in which it was a co-financier, is abandoned amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, leaving a 1 billion euro write-down. NS 2 would have doubled the NS 1’s capacity of 55 billion cubic metres a year.
Uniper, which was feeling stress from a shift to decarbonisation that forced the shutdown of coal plants, maintained throughout that Russia was a reliable shipper.
E.ON spun off a majority of Uniper in 2016 and later agreed to sell its remaining stake to Fortum, which now holds 78%.
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