Gazprom’s UK branch, Gazprom Energy, is reportedly considering changing its name to GM&T in an apparent attempt to save the company amid the Ukraine war. It wants to change its name to that of its parent company, GM&T, which is operationally independent of Gazprom. The firm is Britain’s biggest energy supplier, dishing out more than a fifth of the gas used by energy companies in the UK.
A person close to the Kremlin-owned company said: “The top management is keen but the trouble is that it’s not a radical rebrand so it’s unclear whether it will make much difference,” the Financial Times reports.
But as the Russian President continues to unleash hell in Ukraine amid the war, Britain looks keen to scramble any remaining links to the Kremlin so as to limit Putin’s influence.
Back in April, the German Government took control of the British arm of Gazprom.
Berlin announced its shares of the parent company of GM&T, Gazprom Germania GmbH (GPG), are under “fiduciary management” of the German Federal Network Agency (BNetza) until September 30 2022.
This means the German state has full control over GM&T.
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Berlin took the decision to “protect public security and order and to maintain the security of supply”.
He added: “This step is imperative. At present, the security of supply is ensured.”
Berlin stepped in as Gazprom Energy appeared to be on the brink of imminent collapse in March.
This could have meant that 30,000 corporate customers would have seen bills suddenly soar as contracts negotiated when prices were lower get torn up.
The Government had been on standby to put it into special administration so it could keep supplying customers.
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Gazprom still currently holds contracts worth tens of millions of pounds with public sector bodies in Britain.
According to public spending records, public sector bodies spent at least £25million on Gazprom’s services in 2021.
Gazprom also recently won a £3.6million deal to supply gas and electricity to The University of Manchester, GMB Union reports.
Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, said: “Serious questions need to be asked about how our schools and hospitals have become entangled in the energy supply chain that fuels Putin’s war machine.
“Ultimately, this spending is an indictment of the failure of UK energy policy to prioritise affordable and secure supply.
“It is morally unconscionable for contracts to still be awarded while missiles rain down on Ukrainian workers.
“There should be no new public sector contract awards to Gazprom, and we need an urgent Government review into whether alternative suppliers can take on existing contracts.”
Gazprom Energy is yet to comment on the report.