Tuppurainen slams Fortum for helping Uniper

Tuppurainen slams Fortum for helping Uniper

Tuppurainen argued to STT on Sunday that Fortum showed its commitment to helping the subsidiary overcome the natural gas crisis by providing it an eight billion-euro credit facility, consisting of shareholder loan and parent-company guarantees.

She said that as the majority owner of Fortum, they don't see how it would be possible for Fortum to further capitalise Uniper in these circumstances.

Uniper, the largest importer of natural gas in Germany and the largest buyer of Russian gas in Europe, is in financial distress due to restrictions on natural gas exports by Russia. Since June of this year, the company has only received 40 percent of its contracted volumes of natural gas from Russia, forcing it to source replacement volumes at substantially higher prices.

According to Helsingin Sanomat, the company has suffered daily losses of up to 50 million euros from its natural gas business.

Since the beginning of the year, shares in Uniper have lost 75 per cent of their value. Fortum has 78 per cent of shares in Uniper.

Tuppurainen reminded that the difficulties are caused by the war waged in Ukraine by Russia and the market manipulation by Gazprom, a natural gas company controlled by the Kremlin.

This problem can't be solved with any short-term capitalisation solution as far as the main owner is concerned, because the fundamental reason for high gas prices isn't going anywhere in the near future, she said. Fortum has already spent a lot of money to support Uniper. Eight billion euro is a very large sum compared to Finland's gross domestic product. The bailout package could be discussed with the German government in the near future, according to executives from Fortum and Uniper.