Energy: Gas importer VNG in trouble - application for state aid

The gas importer VNG got into financial difficulties during the energy crisis.

Energy: Gas importer VNG in trouble - application for state aid

The gas importer VNG got into financial difficulties during the energy crisis. The company, a majority holding of the Karlsruhe energy supplier EnBW, will submit an application for stabilization measures to the Federal Ministry of Economics this Friday, EnBW announced. The measures were aimed at absorbing the current accumulation of "significant losses from the replacement procurement of natural gas and enabling business activities to continue," it said. According to the information, the Leipziger Verbundnetzgas AG (VNG) is the third largest German gas importer and accounted for around a fifth of the gas requirements in Germany in 2021.

At the same time, the ongoing talks between VNG AG and its shareholders and the federal government about options for stabilizing the company would continue, the company said.

Due to the unfulfilled delivery obligations of upstream suppliers, gas quantities would have to be procured at significantly higher prices on the energy markets in order to continue to be able to reliably supply customers at significantly lower prices, VNG wrote in a statement on Friday. "In order to avert further damage from VNG and to ensure the ability of the VNG Group to act as a whole," the company sees reason to apply for further aid in addition to the application for the gas levy that has already been submitted.

Ministry announces comprehensive examination

VNG also states that it has two contracts that are affected by Russian gas supply disruptions. The situation has worsened significantly since August. The company put the loss this year at around one billion euros. This would also not be offset by the gas surcharge that will take effect from October.

In response to a query from dpa, the Federal Ministry of Economics said in the morning that VNG's application had "just been received" and was now being comprehensively examined.

According to EnBW, VNG is systemically important for the security of supply in Germany and plays an important role in eastern Germany in particular. Accordingly, the VNG Group supplies around 400 municipal utilities and industrial companies with gas.

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