Gas importer VNG is urging payment of the gas surcharge

The CEO of the gas importer VNG, Ulf Heitmüller, says his company cannot do without the gas surcharge.
Image: EPA

The subsidiary of the utility EnBW cannot do without the levy, says VNG CEO Ulf Heitmüller.

Dhe Leipzig-based gas trading company Verbundnetzgas AG (VNG) is urging payment of the controversial gas surcharge. “Without the gas surcharge, we will not be able to continue our business as before and therefore no longer be able to fulfill our supply mandate,” said CEO Ulf Heitmüller to the editorial network Germany (RND) and the “Leipziger Volkszeitung” (Friday). He assumes “that the gas surcharge will come”.

VNG is one of the major German gas importers and is a subsidiary of the Karlsruhe energy group EnBW, which is currently making good gains due to high energy prices. However, according to Heitmüller, VNG does not benefit from this. Although EnBW is the majority shareholder, 25 percent of the VNG shares are owned by the municipality. “The majority are East German municipalities,” explained Heitmüller. “I can’t just call Karlsruhe and say: transfer me a billion or more. If so, that would only be possible through a capital increase, and then our municipal owners would also have to spend a lot of money if East Germany’s stake in VNG is not to be diluted.” procure – according to Heitmann for a low to medium double-digit million amount every day. “No company can withstand such a capital outflow in the long term.” The company expects the levy to be in the low single-digit billions.

The gas levy was criticized because companies that are doing well economically could also benefit. Now it should be improved. For example, only companies that do not pay bonuses or dividends should receive money. Heitmann said: “VNG will post a dramatic loss this year, certainly in the three-digit million range. If the target is missed in this way, the question of bonuses at board level is settled anyway.”

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