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March 22, 2022

Germany reviewing Rosneft’s stake purchase in Schwedt refinery

The deal with Shell would have increased the Russian energy giant’s stake in the refinery to 91.67%.

Germany has suspended Russian oil group Rosneft’s planned stake acquisition in the PCK Schwedt refinery, Reuters reported, citing a spokesperson for the Economy Ministry.

In November 2021, Rosneft agreed to acquire a 37.5% stake in the PCK Schwedt refinery from Shell, to increase its operatorship stake in the refinery to 91.67%.

The remaining 8.33% interest in the refinery is held by Italian firm Eni.

The spokesperson, in response to an enquiry, said: “Concerning the takeover of additional shares in the PCK (Schwedt) refinery by Rosneft, an investment review process has been launched.”

Germany has previously launched similar reviews due to uncertainty that investments or acquisitions would not comply with public interest.

According to the antitrust authority’s website, Germany’s cartel office approved the stake purchase by the Russian firm on 21 February 2022.

The approval came barely days before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which led to many Western countries imposing sanctions against Moscow.

In the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Germany is looking to reduce its dependence on Russian raw materials.

In a separate development, Dutch gas network operator Gasunie and Germany are in talks for access to the floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) in the port town of Brunsbuettel, Germany, reported Reuters.

The move is expected to help the country in accelerating liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports, and reduce its dependence on Russian gas.

Earlier this month, German state lender KfW partnered with Gasunie, and the country’s power producer RWE, to build an LNG import terminal in Brunsbuettel.

The new LNG terminal will have a regasification capacity of eight billion cubic metres per annum.

Gasunie and German LNG senior business developer Marcel Tijhuis, at a European gas and LNG conference in Vienna, said: “We are in discussions with the government to see the feasibility of this. We don’t exclude connecting in FSRUs first.”

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