Germany has appointed a German trustee to oversee Gazprom Germania, the German subsidiary of Russian oil giant Gazprom. The government has called it a “transitory solution” to Gazprom’s attempt to dispose of its German shareholdings.
Germany has appointed a German trustee to oversee Gazprom Germania, the German subsidiary of Russian oil giant Gazprom. The government has called it a “transitory solution” to Gazprom’s attempt to dispose of its German shareholdings. All voting rights in Gazprom Germania will be moved to the regulator – the Bundesnetzagentur, whose trusteeship will stay in place until September 30th. It will now be entitled to remove executives and hire new staff.
German Economy Minister, Robert Habeck said: “The government is doing what is necessary to ensure security of supply in Germany — this includes not exposing energy infrastructures in Germany to arbitrary decisions by the Kremlin. It was not announced who will be the new economic and legal owner of these holdings. This is in itself a violation of the notification requirement under the foreign trade and payments ordinance.”
Gazprom Germania owns all its critical infrastructure in Germany and the European Union, including pipelines and underground gas storage facilities. The company is an energy trading, storage and transmission specialist that supplies gas to German businesses. Its intertwined network of units includes trader Wingas and storage firm astora GmbH, which operates 6 billion cubic metres of underground gas caverns in Germany and Austria.
The new owner that Gazprom tried to transfer its German assets to is a Moscow resident who performs under the stage name DJ Five. The part-time DJ, Dmitry Tseplyaev, is director of a company called Palmary which owns a tiny stake in Gazprom Export Business Services, the other company Gazprom tried to transfer its German assets to. EU antitrust regulators are also reportedly investigating Gazprom Germania for possible price gouging.
While Germany has stopped short of energy sanctions, it is looking to maintain gas storage levels at 90 per cent of capacity ahead of this winter. It is also considering slowing down its phasing out of coal power and nuclear energy.
Alongside the German unit, Gazprom announced last week it had “ceased its participation” in its British division without providing details of any new owners. The British government is reportedly weighing up whether to place the UK group, Gazprom Energy, into special administration.