Crisis Around Viennese Energy Supply Company "Wien Energie"

PeopleOther ♦ Published: August 30, 2022; 22:56 ♦ (Vindobona)

Austria's largest energy supplier urgently needs money to hedge forward transactions. Otherwise, the company would have to realize huge losses.

Wien Energie GmbH is an energy company that is part of Wiener Stadtwerke. Wien Energie is the largest energy supplier in Austria. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons, Bwag, CC BY-SA 4.0

Due to the high inflation in the energy markets, Wien Energie has run into financial turmoil, according to media reports by ORF. Between 1.7 and 1.8 billion euros had to be deposited by the City of Vienna subsidiary at the beginning of the week, which it could not handle on its own.

According to the Austrian Ministry of Finance, the energy utility Wien Energie approached the federal government for the first time last weekend with a request for financial assistance. According to the company itself, it no longer has sufficient financial resources to conclude transactions on the energy exchange

The company can still raise the necessary sum of 1.75 billion with the help of the City of Vienna to secure future supply contracts. This is what Vienna's City Finance Councillor Peter Hanke (SPÖ) told Finance Minister Magnus Brunner (ÖVP), according to the Austrian Ministry of Finance. The 1.75 billion euros that Wien Energie had to provide as collateral at short notice could just be raised by the City of Vienna. For further expected financing requirements, however, the City of Vienna needs the help of the federal government. According to the Austrian Ministry of Finance, in a letter from City Finance Councillor Hanke, the city's acute financing requirements for onward transfer to Wiener Stadtwerke GmbH and Wien Energie GmbH were put at 6 billion euros.

Wien Energie itself commented on the situation, stating "Wien Energie and Wiener Stadtwerke are solid, economically sound companies with excellent credit ratings." The requests for state support had risen unexpectedly due to the electricity price, which exploded again and suddenly on Friday, also the required security deposits in energy trading. According to Wien Energie, within just one day the electricity price in trading had risen from 700 to around 1,000 euros, and analogously the required security deposits for transactions already made in the future have multiplied. This situation is also already known in neighboring countries. International energy suppliers in Germany are facing the same problems and are already using the instrument of state support.

Wien Energie

Federal Ministry of Finance