Gazprom could possibly have to sell Nord Steam 2, EU believes – newspaper
The EU believes that that Nord Stream 2 AG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Gazprom and the operator of Nord Stream 2, may have to sell the pipeline in order to bring it into compliance with the EU gas directive, the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is reporting.
Among the main provisions of the directive is the separation of companies supplying gas and companies transporting it.
"Nord Stream 2 had already tentatively submitted a request to the Federal Network Agency in June for "Certification as an independent transport operator. It is intended to comply with the separation order by promptly separating the operation of the pipeline from the parent company in terms of accounting as well. The Network Agency has four months to check this as soon as all the necessary documents have been filed - so far this has not happened. In general, the Bonn agency is apparently willing to allow such a construction. From the point of view of participants in the Commission [European Commission), which deals with this topic, the prescriptions of the EU in this case will not be fulfilled anyway," the newspaper wrote on Friday.
"There's no avoiding selling the pipeline, we are being told," the article said.
Last Wednesday, a court in Düsseldorf decided not to exempt Nord Stream 2 from the norms of the EU gas directive. Thus, the court rejected an appeal by the pipeline operator against the decision of the German regulator, the Federal Network Agency Bundesnetzagentur.
The operator of Nord Stream 2 had previously appealed the regulator's decision not to exempt the pipeline from the rules of the EU Gas Directive, which in Germany is regulated by the relevant national law. The complaint was filed against paragraph 28b of the German Energy Economics Act.
Theoretically, the possibility of exemption from regulation is provided by Germany federal legislation, but it applies only to gas pipelines that were completed before May 23, 2019.
The provision of the EU directive on the separation of companies supplying gas and companies transporting it means that the operator of Nord Stream 2 must be independent of Gazprom, and 50% of its throughput capacity must be reserved for alternative suppliers. Exceptions are possible, but only with the approval of the European Commission.
The company has the opportunity to challenge the refusal to exempt the pipeline from the norms of the EU gas directive in the Supreme Court of Germany.