Lawmakers in Germany have approved the likely expropriation of energy companies

Lawmakers in Germany have approved the likely expropriation of energy companies

Germany’s energy network regulator should be notified about any planned decommissioning of gas storage facilities in the future, according to the new law. Last month, the German government acted on a different legal basis to sustain operations at Gazprom Germania, the trading, storage and transmission business abandoned by Russia’s Gazprom . The company was taken into the regulator’s control on April 4 as the Economy Ministry sought to stave off a possible acquisition by JSC Palmary and Gazprom Export Business Services LLC, both of Russia, the Economy Ministry said at the time.

On Thursday, Germany’s lower house of parliament passed a fresh version of a measure to safeguard energy supplies, which includes the possibility of expropriating essential energy infrastructure and assets in an emergency. As Europe’s largest economy prepares for the possibility of Russia cutting off supplies, the new amendments, which are set to take effect in June, will allow the government to place energy corporations under trusteeship if they can no longer meet their obligations and supply security is jeopardized. If no solution to the ownership of the Schwedt oil refinery, which is majority-owned by Russian state-owned Rosneft, the updated law, which still needs to pass the upper house of parliament, might be used for the first time. The law authorizes the government to take control over companies’ energy production, transport and distribution of energy if supply is at risk.

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