German businesses bracing for the worst after cuts in gas supplies from Russia

German enterprises face a real threat of production cuts and layoffs due to the cessation of cheap and clean energy supplies from Russia due to Western sanctions

German companies, the powerhouse of Europe’s largest economy, are mulling painful production cuts and resorting to polluting forms of energy previously thought unthinkable as they adjust to the prospect of cutting off Russian gas supplies .


Steam rises from the cooling towers of the coal-fired power plant RWE, one of Europe’s largest power generation companies, in Niederauszem, Germany, March 3, 2016. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

The cutback in supplies from Russia has accelerated the efforts of the entire German industry to find alternatives to keep factories running and limit economic costs.

Chemical giant BASF is figuring out which plants could cut production first, and rival Lanxess could delay shutting down some coal-fired plants.

As Gazprom cut Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline flows from Russia to Germany by 60% last week, Proctor & Gamble (PG.N) supplier Kelheim Fiber mulled the decision to spend millions upgrading its gas-fired plant to worked on oil.

The 86-year-old Bavarian supplier of viscose fibers used in hygiene and filtration products has asked the state to help fund the upgrade, which will cost at least 2 million euros ($2.10 million).

Michael Cooper

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