Energy price cap: Government 'need to do more' says Massara
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In Germany, the government has already been forced to intervene after the Russian energy giant announced it was exiting its Gazprom Germania arm, which in turn has subsidiaries across Europe including UK based Gazprom Marketing and Trading (GM&T). Germany’s energy regulator will now run Gazprom Germania in order to ensure security of energy supplies after Gazprom failed to provide details of the new ownership structure, contrary to German law. The uncertain outlook for GM&T so far has caused considerable worry for business with speculation in the industry the UK government could be forced to intervene. CEO of Good Energy Nigel Pocklington warned there was a “shock” coming from Gazprom, which could potentially become an “Ofgem level issue.”
GM&T is a major supplier for the commercial sector, accounting for around 20 percent of the market for British businesses.
It also supplies energy to a number of schools and NHS trusts.
Speaking to Express.co.uk Mr Pocklington warned: “If they were to go under… you’re talking about a whole pile of businesses and local authorities needing to get new gas contracts in the current very high market where they might have continued for couple of years in a lower market with Gazprom.”
With such risks he suggested the UK government could be forced to take GM&T into public hands.
Ministers have reportedly been drawing up plans if reassurance isn’t given on the change in ownership.
Bloomberg has calculated such as move would cost the tax payer around £4 billion, far higher than the £1.7 billion used to bailout energy firm Bulb.
Ofgem declined to comment when approached by Express.co.uk.
In an online statement Gazprom Energy said: “Gazprom Energy has been supplying gas in the UK since 2006 and we continue to honour our contractual obligations to customers and partners with the same level of commitment as always.”
It also added that the terms of agreement on contacts would remain exactly the same.
According to the statement any concerns about viability have now been removed as “ultimate control is now held indirectly by the German state.”
With all shares in Gazprom Germania now under trusteeship of the German energy regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur, Germany now has temporary control of the group and its subsidiaries, including GM&T.
Head of the Bundesnetzagantur, Klaus Mueller, said: “Our goal will be to run Gazprom Germania in the interests of Germany and Europe.”
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Germany has insisted the move was essential to prevent a shifting of Gazprom Germania into different Russian hands given the lack of clarity over its potential new ownership.
German Economy Minister Rober Habeck, told a news conference: “We won’t leave energy infrastructure subject to arbitrary decisions by the Kremlin.”
Control by Berlin will remain in place until 30 September with questions remaining over the long term future of both Gazprom Germania and GM&T.
Mr Pocklington suggested the German takeover could stabilise the situation slightly however it was “not entirely clear.”
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy did not immediately respond when asked for comment.
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