Finland state

Germany says talks with Finland haven’t given clearer timeline for Uniper’s future

General view of Uniper’s Bierwang gas storage facility near the Bavarian town of Kraiburg am Inn, Germany, June 10, 2022. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

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FRANKFURT, July 15 (Reuters) – A Finnish government minister’s visit to Berlin on Thursday failed to set a clearer timetable for a solution to German utility Uniper’s financial problems (UN01.DE), the German economy ministry said on Friday.

“There is no real timetable,” a ministry spokesman said, without giving details of talks between the German government and Finnish European Affairs Minister Tytti Tuppurainen.

Tuppurainen said on Thursday the talks were moving forward but still at a very critical and sensitive stage. Read more

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Uniper, Germany’s biggest gas importer, is the subject of urgent consultations between the governments of Berlin and Helsinki after asking Berlin for a bailout to solve financial problems caused by gas scarcity and the price spike.

State-dominated Finnish utility Fortum (FORTUM.HE) has a 78% stake. Read more

A Uniper spokesman said on Friday the company was tapping into its underground gas reserves to meet part of its delivery obligations as Russian shipments fell to zero on the Nord Stream 1 link.

“We are currently reducing our own reserved gas volumes in our storage facilities in order to supply gas to customers and ensure Uniper’s liquidity,” the spokesperson said.

Nord Stream 1 started 10 days of maintenance on Monday. Read more

On Thursday, the accumulation of Germany’s overall winter gas reserves reversed for the first time into a small daily decline. The energy grid regulator said Germany’s total storage capacity was 64.5% full, down 0.1 percentage point. Read more

Ukraine and its allies have accused Russia of deliberately limiting the flow of energy to Europe in revenge for sanctions against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow describes as a “special military operation”.

Russia claims to be a reliable supplier that honors its contacts.

Uniper has storage facilities in Etzel, Epe, Bierwang and Breitbrunn, among others.

(This story corrects the lead, the title to say did not give a clearer timeline)

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Reporting by Vera Eckert and Andreas Rinke, writing by Riham Alkousaa, editing by Simon Cameron-Moore, Kirsten Donovan and Cynthia Osterman

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