With effect from 14 November 2022, the Federal Government becomes the sole owner of SEFE Securing Energy for Europe ("SEFE") and thus of astora. By way of a capital cut, the Federal Government first took over all shares in SEFE and provided the company with new share capital of 225 million euros. The Federal Government holds the shares in SEFE indirectly through SEFE Securing Energy for Europe Holding GmbH (SEEHG).
Previously, the management of SEFE applied to the Federal Government for stabilisation measures. This request was necessary as Russian sanctions against the SEFE Group were leading to the suspension of gas deliveries. Due to the sharp rise in gas prices over the course of the year, the company had to bear high costs for sourcing additional volumes to meet its existing supply obligations.
Managing Director of SEFE, Dr Egbert Laege, said: "We very much welcome this decision. Having the Federal Government as our shareholder means SEFE Group has a reliable and strong partner, enabling us to continue on our mission of securing the energy supply for Europe, now and for the future.”
The Federal Government's action also removes the uncertainty surrounding the question of the ownership of the SEFE Group. Already under the fiduciary management of the Federal Network Agency, the SEFE Group has fulfilled considerable tasks to secure the gas supply in Germany and Europe.
astora GmbH, based in Kassel, is part of the SEFE Group and one of the largest natural gas storage operators in Europe. The company maintains one of the largest natural gas storage facilities in Western Europe at Rehden in Northern Germany, which has a working gas volume of about four billion cubic metres. In addition, the storage company also markets around one third of the capacity in the second largest storage facility in Central Europe, located in Haidach, Austria. In order to secure natural gas supplies to Europe, astora also operates and markets 5/6 of the capacity in the Jemgum cavern storage facility on the German-Dutch border.