Lubmin Germany: On the Nord Stream 2 frontline | Focus on Europe
The reason for the refusal was the violated terms of the gas pipeline construction. Pipe-laying has been suspended due to US sanctions
The German Federal Grid Agency denied the Nord Stream 2 project an exemption from the EU gas directive rules, as the project was not implemented until May 23. The regulator rejected the application of the pipeline operator Nord Stream 2 AG and ruled that the project is subject to European regulation.
According to the gas directive, internal market rules are applied to all pipelines through which gas enters the EU. The supplier and operator of gas cannot be the same company – third countries must have access to the pipe. This means that the operating company Nord Stream 2 AG should be independent from the Russian Gazprom, and 50 percent of the pipeline’s capacity should be reserved for other suppliers. Now Nord Stream 2 AG is 100 percent owned by the Russian concern.
Nord Stream 2 AG said it did not agree with the decision of the German regulator. The operator, without specifying details, noted that the pipeline was completed as of 23 May in terms of economic functionality..
- The Nord Stream 2 project involves the construction of two lines of a gas pipeline with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the coast of Russia to Germany along the bottom of the Baltic Sea. The pipe-laying was expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019. However, at the end of December, work was suspended after the US Congress passed a bill providing for the introduction of sanctions against companies – ship owners involved in the laying of pipes for “Nord Stream 2”.
- After the imposition of sanctions, Russian officials said that Nord Stream 2 would still be completed by the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021. Recently, Bloomberg reported that the construction of the gas pipeline is close to renewal. Nord Stream 2 AG has neither confirmed nor denied that the completion of the gas pipeline will begin in the near future. According to Bloomberg estimates, about six percent of the pipeline remains to be completed – this is just over 100 kilometers..
- The US opposes the project, arguing that it makes Europe overly dependent on Russian gas and therefore vulnerable. The same position is shared by Ukraine and a number of EU countries. Russia, Germany, Austria and a number of other countries, whose companies are involved in the construction, insist that we are talking exclusively about a business project. Washington offered to supply European countries with American gas.
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