World's Largest Chemical Giant Warns of 'Total Collapse' If Putin Cuts Off Gas Supply
The most 'catastrophic' economic crisis since World War 2.
The CEO of Germany’s multinational BASF SE has warned that cutting off energy imports from Russia would result in pushing Germany into its most “catastrophic” economic crisis since World War 2.
During an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, Company CEO Martin Brudermuller gave an “early warning” to industries and the population of possible natural gas shortages.
While “Germany could be independent from Russia gas in four to five years,” according to Bloomberg.
“LNG imports cannot be increased quickly enough to replace all Russian gas flows in the short term.”
Brudermuller said that “It’s not enough that we all turn down the heating by 2 degrees now, given that Russia covers 55 percent of German natural gas consumption.”
He also warned that if Russian gas disappeared overnight, “many things would collapse here,” given that "we would have high levels of unemployment, and many companies would go bankrupt.
"This would lead to irreversible damage.”
“To put it bluntly: This could bring the German economy into its worst crisis since the end of the Second World War and destroy our prosperity.
"For many small and medium-sized companies in particular, it could mean the end.
"We can’t risk that!”
The chemical group BASF is one of the largest energy consumers in Germany, its CEO Brudermüller considers an import boycott of Russian natural gas to be irresponsible. He explains the consequences with many bankruptcies, destruction of corporate Germany.https://t.co/sPcWiJFnyg— Alper Üçok (@AlperUcok) March 31, 2022
Asserting that this issue is not “black and white” the BASF CEO said that if this standoff continues to escalate it will “open the eyes of many on both sides”...
Below is the question posed by the newspaper, and Brudermuller’s response:
"And what if, for example, Putin’s demand for payment in rubles leads to an immediate stop in gas supplies?"
This was his response:
“A delivery stop for a short time would perhaps open the eyes of many - on both sides.
"It would make clear the magnitude of the consequences.
"But if we don’t get any more Russian gas for a long time, then we really have a problem here in Germany.”
“At BASF, we would have to scale back or completely shut down production at our largest site in Ludwigshafen if the supply fell significantly and permanently below 50 percent of our maximum natural gas requirement.
"Minister Habeck has already activated the early warning level of the gas emergency plan.”
Sources estimate that the scenario would lead to Ludwigshafen laying off 40,000 employees.
He also warned that many Germans are currently greatly underestimating the consequences of what Russia shutting off the taps would mean.
“Many have misconceptions. I notice that in many of the conversations I have,” he said.
“People often make no connection at all between a boycott and their own job. As if our economy and our prosperity were set in stone," he added.
He added that higher prices are already having a huge impact on the food supply given that BASF was forced to reduce the production of ammonia for fertilizer production.
Brudermuller described this as “a catastrophe and we will feel it even more clearly next year than this one."
"Because most of the fertilizers that the farmers need this year have already been bought," he said.
"In 2023 there will be a shortage, and then the poor countries in particular, for example in Africa, will no longer be able to afford to buy basic foodstuffs.”
“There is a risk of famine,” he warned.