“Significant individual risk”: Uniper worries about Nord Stream 2 – Germany and the world

Düsseldorf – Energy company Uniper, which helps finance the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea, believes the project could fail.

Due to growing threats of US sanctions against the pipeline from Russia to Germany, “the likelihood has increased that there will be delays in the construction of the pipeline or not at all,” Uniper writes in the report. interim first semester released Tuesday. 2020.

In the event of the pipeline ending, Uniper “may have to adjust the value of the loan granted for Nord Stream 2” and “may not realize” the expected interest income. Uniper is participating in the financing of the gas pipeline to the tune of 950 million euros. According to Uniper, the money has already flowed in full.

The US government is a thorn in the side of Nord Stream 2. President Donald Trump accuses Europeans of being too dependent on Russia for energy. At the end of 2019, it enabled the first punitive measures against certain companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his Russian colleague Sergej Lavrov jointly condemned US threats of sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. After a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday, the two expressed their determination not to let the Americans stop the billion dollar project.

“No state has the right to dictate Europe’s energy policy with threats, and that will not succeed either,” Maas said. Sanctions between partners are “certainly the wrong way to go”. Lavrov stressed that Russia has always made it clear that the sanctions are a violation of international law. Nevertheless, there are reasons to believe that the pipeline will be completed by the partners shortly.

Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Manuela Schwesig (SPD) said after a conversation with Nord Stream Managing Director Matthias Warnig in Schwerin: “We agree with Nord Stream that the project should be a success . ” When phasing out nuclear power and coal, gas will be used as an energy source, at least during the transition.

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The port of Sassnitz-Mukran on Rügen plays a central role in the construction of the pipeline as a storage place for pipelines and as a starting point for laying vessels. Work is also continuing at the Lubmin landing station (Vorpommern-Greifswald).

“Basically, we view the development of sanctions with concern,” Uniper CEO Andreas Schierenbeck said on a conference call. As a financial partner, Uniper is not directly affected by the sanctions. “We believe the project will be completed,” Schierenbeck stressed. The classification of Nord Stream as “significant individual risk” for Uniper is “completely normal risk management”, said CFO Sascha Bibert. “Extreme scenarios” should not be excluded either. Despite threats from the United States, Uniper assumes “gas will go through this pipeline.” Nonetheless, Uniper shares fell nearly five percent, pushing back the rear in the MDax.

After a good first half, Uniper raised its expectations somewhat for the year as a whole. The Düsseldorf-based company now expects adjusted operating profit (EBIT) of between 800 million and one billion euros. Previously, the lower limit was 750 million euros. Uniper is also crisis-proof in the corona pandemic, Schierenbeck said.

Uniper commissioned the controversial Datteln 4 coal-fired power station at the end of May. By the end of 2025, the supplier, part of the Eon group, plans to shut down blocks of coal-fired power stations with a total capacity of around 2,900 megawatts. Schierenbeck left the question of whether Uniper would participate in the auction for the dismantling bonuses. “Of course, we’ll check if we can go,” he said.

Germany wants to phase out coal-fired power generation by 2038 at the latest. Operators of coal-fired power plants receive no fixed compensation. Instead, they should ask for dismantling bonuses. There are a total of eight tenders through 2027, with maximum prices falling. The first auction is scheduled for September 1.

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