Tuppurainen slams Fortum for helping Uniper

Tuppurainen slams Fortum for helping Uniper

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

She said that as the majority owner of Fortum, we 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 largest buyer of Russian gas in Europe, is in financial distress due to restrictions on natural gas exports by Russia. Since June, the company has received only 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 had daily losses of up to 50 million euros from its natural gas business.

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

Tuppurainen reminded that the difficulties are the result of 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 kind of 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 potentially be worth nine billion euros to the German government, according to executives from Fortum and Uniper.