Germany takes control of a Russian refinery

The German subsidiary of Russian oil giant Rosneft was placed under trusteeship on Friday, giving the German federal regulator control of the PCK refinery in Schwedt, a key source of fuel for the city of Berlin.

osneft Germany, previously majority-owned by Rosneft, has tested Germany’s resolve to freeze oil imports from Russia by the end of the year amid European sanctions to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

“The trust counteracts the threat to the security of the energy supply and lays an important foundation for the preservation and future of the Schwedt location,” says a statement from the Federal Ministry of Economics.

Rosneft Germany accounts for about 12 percent of Germany’s oil processing capacity and is one of the largest oil processing companies in the country, the ministry said.

Friday’s move escalates already strained relations with Russia, despite German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussing the situation in Ukraine in a phone call on Tuesday.

German government sources had said before the announcement that a potential immediate halt to Russian oil supplies would need to be factored into any decision to put Rosneft Germany under trusteeship.

The Schwedt inland refinery is Germany’s fourth-largest, supplies 90 percent of the capital’s fuel and has sourced all of its crude oil from Russia via the Druzhba pipeline since the plant was built in the 1960s.

Parts of western Poland are also supplied from Schwedt, as is Berlin-Brandenburg Airport.

Friday’s move will be accompanied by a “comprehensive package” designed to ensure oil can be delivered to the refinery through alternative routes, the ministry said.

It is unclear who could replace Rosneft as the operator of the refinery. The British oil company Shell, which has a 37.5 percent stake in Schwedt, has been wanting to withdraw for some time.

Verbio and Enertrag, both from the renewable energy sector, have expressed interest.

With the trusteeship, the Federal Network Agency is also taking over Rosneft Germany’s shares in the MiRo and Bayernoil refineries in Karlsruhe and Vohburg.

Chancellor Scholz, Economics Minister Robert Habeck and Brandenburg’s Prime Minister will unveil details of the package at 11:30 GMT.

The government’s move to place Rosneft Germany in the hands of the Bundesnetzagentur follows a similar move by Berlin with SEFE, formerly known as Gazprom Germania, which came under trusteeship after Gazprom abandoned it in April. Germany takes control of a Russian refinery

Fry Electronics Team

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