Former Gazprom Unit Sefe Has Secured Regasification Capacity at Dunkirk

(Reuters) — German gas importer Sefe has secured 3.5 Bcm of regasification capacity in Dunkirk and is closing in on new LNG import deals, its boss said, mapping out the former Gazprom division's future strategy.

The company is also assessing whether to take legal steps against its Russian ex-owner, which has halted supply, Sefe managing director Egbert Laege told Reuters during the annual Handelsblatt Energy Summit.

"We have the ambition to become a profitable company in 2023," Laege said, adding the group had also secured long-term regasification capacity at the planned Hanseatic Energy Hub terminal in Stade, Germany.

Laege said that Sefe, formerly called Gazprom Germania, was successful in sourcing LNG mainly from the United States, both short-term deals and for longer periods.

The company, whose name is short for Securing Energy for Europe, had already unloaded a first cargo at Dunkirk, he said.

Germany's gas storage levels currently stand at a comfortable 90.38% and North West European gas prices are at pre-Ukraine invasion levels after soaring to multi-year highs in 2022, helped by a mild winter and demand reductions.

However, next winter and beyond could be tight again if cold periods and a fast recovery of Asian LNG demand coincide.

"The gas market will remain highly sensitive for 12 to 18 months," Laege said. "Then, additional U.S. volumes will become available."

Overall the company will need a few years to recover and attract investors again and only then would the state be able to withdraw, he said.

"We are not talking about privatisation yet at the current time," he said. "But this could be the case in two to three years."

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