Uniper provides 40% of the country’s gas supply and is crucial for large companies and private consumers in Europe’s largest economy.
In July, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that the government would rescue Uniper with a package worth 15 billion euros ($15.3 billion) after it was brought to its knees by months of Russian supply cuts and rising market prices.
Under the bailout deal, the government pledged to provide 7.7 billion euros ($7.8 billion) to cover potential future losses, and state bank KfW agreed to increase its credit line by 7 billion euros ($7.1 billion).
But Habeck said the situation had worsened “tremendously” since Russia indefinitely cut gas supplies to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline on September 1, citing an oil spill.
Russian gas has had to be replaced by expensive alternatives, and bills for consumers have risen.
Despite the disruption of gas supplies via Nord Stream 1, Germany’s gas reserves are more than 90% full to capacity, European storage provider GIE AGSI+ said on its website.
However, Europe’s energy crisis will not go away.
Habeck said the country could “get through the winter just fine” without Russian gas, but warned that supply levels are “really empty” after that.
The UK sets out grants for businesses
The British government on Wednesday gave more details of its plan to protect the economy next winter. It said it would cap electricity and gas costs for businesses at less than half the market rate for an initial six-month period.
The announcement follows a pledge earlier this month to cap average household energy bills at £2,500 ($2,834) a year over the next two years.
UK Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said he would outline the overall cost of the program on Friday.
– Anna Cooban contributed to this article.