Germany’s SEFE to bolster role in secure energy supply by becoming sole owner of WIGA

Germany’s Securing Energy for Europe (SEFE), former Gazprom Germania GmbH, has set sights on becoming the sole shareholder of gas transmission network WIGA which is said to play a key role in the German and European energy security and future transportation of hydrogen.

llustration; Archive. Courtesy of SEFE

WIGA owns the gas network operators GASCADE and NEL, which operate networks in Germany with a combined length of around 4,150 kilometers, playing an important part in European energy security and green energy transformation.

SEFE has now entered into an agreement to acquire the 50.02% shareholding held by its joint venture partner Wintershall Dea.

SEFE currently holds a 49.98% stake in WIGA and, upon closing of the transaction, will become the company’s sole shareholder. To make this possible, the German Federal Government had notified an amendment of the original approval decisions for the recapitalization of SEFE with a view to the applicable acquisition ban. The relevant state aid approval was adopted on March 26.

The transaction is still subject to merger and subsidy control approval by the European Commission and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2024.

According to SEFE, the transaction would strengthen SEFE’s role in securing reliable energy supply in Germany and Europe and boost its hydrogen expertise.

“With the full acquisition of WIGA as sole shareholder, we are strategically strengthening SEFE as an independent and autonomous midstream company,” commented Reinhard Gorenflos, Chairman of the SEFE Supervisory Board.

Egbert Laege, CEO of SEFE, stated: “SEFE being the sole shareholder of WIGA would ensure that GASCADE can convert the existing high-performance infrastructure to hydrogen in the future. In this way, we can help drive forward the green energy transformation. Transportation infrastructure is a pivotal part of the future hydrogen value chain.

“The two WIGA subsidiaries, GASCADE and NEL, will continue to operate independently and market their capacity in a transparent and non-discriminatory manner.”

SEFE CFO Christian Ohlms highlighted the importance of WIGA regarding the privatization of SEFE, which is to be carried out by the end of 2028: “With this transaction, which is expected to reach closing by summer 2024, we are strengthening SEFE’s asset base. We will continue developing SEFE on a stable financial basis for the long term.”