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The European Commission has approved the German government’s planned takeover of energy companies Uniper and SEFE, a former subsidiary of the Russian energy giant Gazprom.

The move comes in the backdrop of energy crises in Europe after Russia squeezed gas supplies to the region following war in Ukraine.

With the takeover, Germany intends to ensure steady gas supplies in the country as it moves away from dependency on Russian gas.

The German government currently owns a 30% stake in Uniper. It will acquire additional stake in Uniper from Finnish energy firm Fortum, to bring its total share in the gas importer to 99%.

The Commission, however, is due to approve bailout of Uniper under state aid rules.

Earlier this year, Germany also said it will nationalise SEFE to safeguard its energy needs.

Germany’s acquisition of the two companies was approved under the EU merger regulation follows the conclusion of the Commission that it would not raise competition concerns.

Commenting on the EU’s approval, Germany Economy Ministry spokesperson was quoted by Reuters as saying: “This is an important step in the proceedings.”

In a separate announcement, Uniper has officially commissioned the first German floating LNG import terminal for in Wilhelmshaven.

Uniper said the Höegh Esperanza FSRU, which is designated for the Wilhelmshaven LNG terminal, has arrived at the terminal.

In a press statement, Uniper said: “Even before Christmas, LNG will be re-gasified and conveyed via the newly created Wilhelmshavener Anbindungsleitung (Wilhelmshaven Connector Pipeline/WAL) into the German long-distance gas grid.”