HomeMediaLatest News"Underwater reefs" of NS2 certification

"Underwater reefs" of NS2 certification

27 January 2022

Belogoryev Alexey M. Research and Development Director, Director of the Center for Energy strategic analysis and forecasting

Alexey Belogoryev, Deputy Principal Director on Energy Studies of the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented to the Svobodnaya Pressa Internet portal regarding the “underwater reefs” of the Nord Stream 2 certification.

According to Alexey Belogoryev, after Nord Stream 2 AG established a subsidiary in Germany, Gas for Europe GmbH, the Germany Federal Network Agency has no reason to postpone the Nord Stream 2 certification.

“If the documents are submitted, then [for certification] the German regulator in accordance with the regulations will take no more than four months,” the expert points out.

As Alexey Belogoryev recalled, earlier the Federal Network Agency warned that the certification process would start anew, from scratch.

“Thus, by the end of May, the German regulator will complete certification, but then the European Union will have another four months - the European Commission intends to involve the regulatory authorities of other EU member countries. But the answer should be given by October 1,” he explains.

The expert points out that the creation of Gas for Europe GmbH meets the requirement associated with creating an independent operator, and therefore there can hardly be any fundamental surprises.

“But it must be taken into account that the newly created company is a subsidiary of Nord Stream 2 AG, which means that Gas for Europe GmbH will be subject to the second certification requirement - that its activities should not pose risks to the gas supply of EU member states. Third country clause - Article 3 of the Gas Directive. As far as I remember, it has never been used before, but it is a rather politically motivated and slippery clause. It can be interpreted in different ways, and there are already risks,” Belogoryev warns.

The second aspect for concern, in his opinion, is that Gas for Europe GmbH receives ownership and management of only the German section of the gas pipeline: “This is what many European ill-wishers of Nord Stream 2 feared. It turns out that the main part of the gas pipeline will continue to be owned by Nord Stream 2 AG, and the point of sale, apparently, will be the entrance to the German section. And this creates some legal conflicts in terms of further distribution of the gas pipeline's capacity. Relatively speaking, Gazprom will be able to supply 100% of gas to the German section, and then it will “stumble” on the third gas directive, which provides for only 50% of the capacity, plus another 40% should be distributed at an auction under long-term contracts, and 10% - for the short term."

According to the analyst, this problem was initially, but it is still not entirely clear how it will be regulated.


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