August 16, 2022

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In Germany, a “Lehman Brothers” energy fear

On Thursday, June 30, the government promised that Germany, which faces the risk of disruption to Russia’s gas supplies, would do everything possible to avoid the “Lehman Brothers” power in Europe. The catastrophic situation was highlighted the previous day when the energy group Unifer, Germany’s largest gas importer, called on the state for help in the face of supply difficulties and rising prices. This is the first importer, and others may follow suit. There is a risk that the entire German energy sector will be affected by a domino effect, which will spread to all market players and push the country into recession.

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“Since June 14, Unipur has received only 40% of the amount of gas negotiated by contract from Gasprom.”, Said Tiina Tuomela, finance director of a German subsidiary of Finnish Fortum. In order for the group to continue to deliver to its customers, it has to buy the missing quantities in the market at a very high price. As the increase in purchase prices cannot be sent to invoices immediately, Unipur runs the risk of quickly finding itself in a bankruptcy situation. On Wednesday evening, June 29, the group warned of its expected results and a sharp fall in revenue. During the day on Thursday its trend fell by 20%.

The situation could get worse: on July 11, the gas supply to the North Stream 1 pipeline had to be reduced for ten days due to annual maintenance work.

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Asked at a news conference on the sidelines of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Madrid, President Olaf Scholes assured that his government was ready. “Do what is necessary” To assist businesses facing difficulties with external shocks. More specifically, Economy Minister Robert Hebeck noted the possibility of state participation in the company if the situation requires it.

Loss of several hundred million euros per month

According to some analysts, Unibar could lose hundreds of millions of euros a month. However, the group plays an important role in the energy system, thanks to its reservoirs, which allow for gas storage for the winter and contribute to efforts to reduce the country’s dependence on Russian imports.

The situation could get worse in the coming days: On July 11, due to normal annual maintenance work on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, the gas supply will be suspended for ten days. In Berlin, this technological breakdown is of great concern. Is changing “Complete blockage of Nord Stream 1”According to Mr. Habeck.

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