German energy company Uniper asks for bailout

Gas giant Uniper on Friday asked the German government for a bailout.

Germany’s biggest importer of gas, Düsseldorf-based Uniper has been hit hard by the reduction in Russian gas flows. The company warned that losses could reach €10 billion this year.

“The situation is no longer sustainable for us, which is why we have submitted the official application for state aid today. The federal government has created the necessary instruments for this, now we hope for a quick solution,” Uniper CEO Klaus-Dieter Maubach said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

The call for a bailout had been expected after talks between the gas company and the government intensified in recent weeks. The Cabinet put forward a reform of Germany’s energy security law on Tuesday, which enables financial aid to be given to energy companies.

“Politically, one thing is clear: we will not allow a systemically important company to go bankrupt and consequently cause turbulence in the global energy market. With the new legislation in the Energy Security Act, we have several options to act and we will act,” Economy Minister Robert Habeck said.

However, local media reported that there are concerns about helping Uniper within Habeck’s Green party, a member of the governing coalition, as the firm also operates nuclear power plants in Sweden and gas and coal-fired power plants in Russia.