Photo: EPA / FRIEDEMANN VOGEL
In the last few weeks, US politicians have stepped up resistance to the planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Now the German energy supplier Uniper, which is involved in financing the project, no longer rules out its failure.
“The United States has stepped up its efforts with regard to targeted sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 project, which increases the likelihood of delays in the construction of the pipeline or its non-completion,” the group said in a risk report to the interim report for the first half. year, which was published on Tuesday.
In the event that the project cannot be completed in the end, Uniper “may have to adjust the value of the loan provided for Nord Stream 2” and “will not be able to realize the planned interest income”. The pipeline will run parallel to the first Nord Stream route, which is already in operation, and will deliver gas from Siberia via the Baltic Sea to the Greifswald. 950 million euros The construction of the pipeline is well advanced, but the United States has long been pushing to stop the project.
In recent weeks, threats have been further strained by sanctions and, among other things, operators have been sanctioned at the port of Sassnitz in Rügen, where construction is logistically supported.
Uniper said it would “actively monitor” the situation and take all “necessary measures” to ensure compliance with applicable regulations. Nord Stream 2’s operating company is also working to mitigate the effects of the work to be done. Nevertheless, Uniper describes “the risk of failure of Nord Stream 2” as “significant individual risk for the Uniper Group”.
The United States says the pipeline will make Europe too dependent on Russian gas and that the current transit states for Russian gas in Eastern Europe will be cut off. Proponents oppose this, arguing that Americans are primarily pursuing their own interests – and above all, they want to increase the opportunities to sell their own gas in Europe.
Despite concerns about Nord Stream and the crisis, Uniper is once again becoming a little more optimistic. The electricity producer slightly raised its annual forecast. Uniper now expects adjusted operating profit (EBIT) between 800 million and 1 billion euros. Previously, the lower limit was 750m euros. The management also improves the expectations for the adjusted net profit: it should be between 600 and 800 million euros. The lower value here so far has been 550m euros.
Like other energy companies, the crisis has hardly affected Uniper. Energy demand fell as large industrial customers closed their factories. The group managed to compensate for the slightly lower production volume with higher electricity prices. That’s why Uniper remained stable in the second quarter. The company announced that the momentum from the first quarter has weakened very little.
Adjusted EBIT after the first six months was € 691 million after € 308 million in the same period last year. Adjusted consolidated net profit rose to € 527 million from € 189 million. However, some analysts expected an even better result. At the beginning of trading the share depreciated slightly by 0.7% to EUR 29.90.