German Regulator Expects Decision on Nord Stream 2 Operator’s Certification After June
Berlin expects Nord Stream 2 to lodge all necessary documents
Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline’s operator, Nord Stream 2 AG, is unlikely to be certified before late June, despite the fact that it has a subsidiary in Germany, President of the Federal Network Agency Jochen Homann said in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, which came out on Sunday, TASS reports.
“As Germany’s laws require, a company needed for the certification has been established and entered into the trade register. But further steps are lacking. We expect Nord Stream 2 to lodge all necessary documents,” he said. “Only when they are provided in full, we will be able to resume their consideration. If we look at various time limits, one arrives at the conclusion that it is highly ever probable that the application’s consideration will be over in the first six months.”
Homann recalled that the pipeline has already received a technical permit from Stralsund’s Mining Authority. “As for us, it is about whether Nord Stream complies with the requirement of the division of companies during the operation and gas trade (the so-called unbundling – TASS). If we fail to certify the company due to some reason, Nord Stream may go to court,” he said, adding that the whole thing may take quite a time in this case.
“Apart from that, the European Commission is involved. It will pronounce its position on the Network Agency’s decision and we will have to take it into account,” he noted.
Nord Stream 2 is to be registered as an independent operator to launch the pipeline’s operation. Germany’s Federal Network Agency suspended the certification procedures due to organizational and legal matters on November 16, 2021. The regulator noted that the certification procedure would remain suspended until the operator’s main assets and human resources were transferred to the ownership of its German subsidiary. Nord Stream 2 AG established a German subsidiary, Gas for Europe GmbH, on January 26, 2022. The company will operate the German section of the pipeline.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on December 29 that Russia and its partners had fulfilled their objective of creating Nord Stream 2, adding that it is for Europeans to decide on it now. The Russian leader noted that the pipeline was ready for operation. Once Moscow’s partners in Europe come to a decision on it, then additional volumes of Russian gas will be pumped into the pipeline, Putin said. He also was confident that opening Nord Stream 2’s operation would enable a decline in gas prices in Europe.