The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Germany got rich on exports and cheap Russian gas. Now it's in trouble.

By Anthony Faiola and Vanessa Guinan-Bank

14 Oct 2022 · 7 min read

Editor's Note

The Washington Post looks at how being cut-off from cheap Russian gas is proving to be an existential issue for many German businesses and its implications for Europe.

LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany - Larger than Lower Manhattan, the sprawling BASF chemical plant on the Rhine River is a symbol of both German industrial might and how much Europe's largest economy has to lose in its worst energy crisis in generations.

On any given day, the plant uses more power than Switzerland as it churns out everything from rubber for sneakers to coatings for cars. But the fallout from the war in Ukraine is exacting a high price. During the second quarter of the year alone, sky-high natural gas prices jolted the company's energy bill up by the equivalent of $776 million.

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