German utility Uniper, Europe’s largest importer of Russian natural gas, lost $12.6 billion in the first half of this year.
“We at Uniper have de facto become a pawn in this conflict,” CEO Klaus-Dieter Maubach said.
The company required a $15 billion bailout from the German government earlier this year.
German utility Uniper, which is Europe’s biggest importer of Russian natural gas, said it lost $12.6 billion over the first half of the year as Moscow cut supplies.
Russian energy giant Gazprom has slashed gas deliveries via its Nord Stream pipeline to just 20% of capacity, forcing Uniper to buy gas on the open market at high prices to make up for the shortfall.
“We at Uniper have de facto become a pawn in this conflict,” Uniper CEO Klaus-Dieter Maubach said Wednesday, warning that the company faces insolvency.
Uniper hasn’t been able to offset its higher costs with rate hikes for customers. Losses have been piling up, and the utility received a $15 billion bailout from the German government earlier this year.
Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia supplied 40% of Europe’s gas and 55% of Germany’s gas last year. But Russia has since been accused of “weaponizing” its natural gas as it squeezes Europe, leaving most of the continent vulnerable to an energy crisis this winter.
Uniper said losses would likely continue until 2024 as it continues to seek alternative supplies, including a recent deal with other natural gas providers to keep two terminals fully stocked in Germany over the next few years.
“For globally active foreign oil and gas companies, such losses might be bearable. In Germany, on the other hand, there is not a single energy company that such a development would not bring to its knees,” Maubach added.