RWE is working with Qatar, U.S. on long-term LNG deals

Wind power stations of German utility RWE, one of Europe's biggest electricity companies are pictured in front of RWE's brown coal fired power plants of Neurath, north-west of Cologne, Germany, March 18, 2022. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

FRANKFURT, April 21 (Reuters) - RWE (RWEG.DE), Germany's top power producer, is currently working with partners in Qatar and the United States to strike long-term deals to import liquefied natural gas into Germanyand cut reliance on Russian supplies, its chief executive said.

"In the short term, security of supply for the coming winter and the following years must be strengthened,"Markus Krebber said in remarks published ahead of RWE's annual general meeting on April 28.

"At the same time, independence from Russian energy supplies must be achieved as quickly as possible."

Krebber also warned of the dramatic consequences a ban on Russian gas imports would have for Germany's economy, echoing comments from Chancellor Olaf Scholz who has therefore opposed such a move so far.

"We would have to reckon with massive constraints to household heat supply. Many industrial corporations and medium-sized companies in the energy-intensive primary sector would no longer be able to operate their plants."

Krebber said production facilities would be damaged if supply was disrupted for a prolonged period of time, reflecting concerns by Germany's chemicals sector which largely depends on gas for power and heating.

Reporting by Christoph Steitz, editing by Kirsti Knolle and Emma Thomasson

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.