It is the words of the Wien Energie Management Board in a PowerPoint presentation for the Minister of Finance, the Chancellor and the Federal Financing Agency that show us Austrians how narrowly the republic has avoided a sudden energy catastrophe: while the mayor of the SPÖ in Vienna Michael Ludwig and his finance councilor Peter Hanke (SPÖ) have been trying for days to downplay the problems of their energy company, which is 100% owned by the City of Vienna, the managers of Wien Energie wrote in their presentation without embellishments, which without additional billions in aid the federal government threatens all electricity customers and all of Austria.
In the documents presented by the Wien Energie managing directors at the crisis meeting in the Federal Chancellery and which have now been published by the blog “Zur Sache”, everyone can read what would have threatened us all if further financial aid had been refused:
First: Wien Energie will be blocked from the stock exchange and will be unable to act.
Second: The stock exchange positions are closed, so all deals end, all positions are sold (probably with a loss of several billion euros).
Third: After the liquidation, Wien Energie would no longer be able to supply the two million electricity customers because they would no longer have electricity. Not even the 230,000 commercial and industrial companies.
Fourth: There is no longer any gas backup for the winter. Addition: “Any emergency operation of the district heating could be possible”.
Fifth: No gas backup of the combined heat and power generation. This means that the grid reserve fails and the blackout risk increases significantly.
It is probably no longer possible for politicians who still want to be taken halfway seriously to argue that the situation was “not that bad anyway” or that “all other energy companies in Austria have similar problems”.
In any case, the crisis is far from over: The price of electricity on the stock exchanges has now risen significantly again, by as much as 13.8% in one day. As reported, however, the managers of Wien Energie, who have not yet been released from work, are said to have speculated on falling prices…