BERLIN, Aug 27 — Germany economy ministry said today it was extending the deadline of a €5 billion (US$4.98 billion) aid package for energy-intensive companies and was refining details of the programme intended to help firms cope with soaring power costs.

Companies can apply until the end of September for subsidies of up to €50 million for their increased natural gas and electricity cost, the ministry said. The previous deadline was the end of August.

It said Germany was working with the European Commission on extending the programme period.

More than 200 firms, mostly medium-sized, companies have sent some 1,000 applications since the programme started in mid-July, the ministry said, adding that the first funding tranche was paid out in early August. — Reuters