NEW YORK, Sept 6 — Britain’s largest energy supplier Centrica Plc is in talks with banks to secure billions of pounds in extra credit to meet soaring collateral demands as the energy market remains volatile, the Financial Times (FT) reported yesterday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Centrica’s funding request may heap pressure on incoming UK Prime Minister Liz Truss to consider additional short-term financing help for the energy sector, the report added.

Centrica declined to comment.

Truss is considering a freeze on household energy bills to try to avert a winter cost-of-living crisis for millions of households, Reuters reported yesterday.

Truss will be formally appointed prime minister today.

Centrica, which owns British Gas, last month signed a £7 billion (RM36.3 billion) agreement with US-based Delfin Midstream Inc to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from 2026.

Countries across Europe are seeking to diversify their energy supplies following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a drop in gas flows from Russia to Europe.

The report comes at a time when European gas prices rose, stocks slid and euro is falling after Russia halted gas flows via a major pipeline, sending another shock wave through economies in the region still struggling to recover from the pandemic.

European Union governments are pushing through multi-billion euro packages to prevent utilities buckling under a liquidity squeeze and to protect households from soaring energy bills.

Finland and Sweden have both announced plans to offer billions of dollars in liquidity guarantees to power companies in their countries after Russia’s Gazprom shut the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, deepening Europe’s energy crisis. — Reuters