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May 24
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Germany's lower house of parliament has approved a new version of a bill on energy security, including the possible expropriation of critical energy infrastructure and assets in the event of an emergency, Reuters reported.

The new amendments, which are expected to take effect in June, would allow the government to put energy companies into trusteeship if they can no longer perform their tasks and if supply security is threatened.

The updated law, which still has to go through the upper house of parliament, could be applied for the first time if no solution is found to the ownership of the Schwedt refinery, majority-owned by Russian state-owned Rosneft.

The law authorizes the government to take control of energy production, transportation and distribution by companies if the supply is threatened.

According to the new law, Germany's energy network regulator must be notified of any planned decommissioning of gas storage facilities in the future.

In April, the German government acted on a different legal basis to support the operations of Gazprom Germany.

The company was taken into the regulator's control on 4 April as the Economy Ministry sought to stave off a possible acquisition by JSC Palmary and Gazprom Export Business Services LLC, both of Russia, the Economy Ministry said at the time.

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