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Nord Stream 2 registers German subsidiary, certification still suspended

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The logo of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project is seen on a pipe at the Chelyabinsk Pipe Rotation Plant owned by ChelPipe Group in Chelyabinsk, Russia, February 26, 2020. REUTERS / Maxim Shemetov // File Photo

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MOSCOW / FRANKFURT, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Russian pipeline operator Nord Stream 2 has registered a subsidiary for the German section of the pipeline to meet German regulatory requirements, it said on Wednesday, although certification for the project remains pending. from Berlin.

Europe’s most divisive energy project, Nord Stream 2, is designed to double the amount of gas flowing from Russia to Germany, bypassing the traditional transit country of Ukraine, on the Baltic Sea bed.

It has faced resistance within the European Union, from the United States as well as from Ukraine, on the grounds that it increases Europe’s energy dependence on Russia and denies Ukraine’s transit tariffs, at a time of Moscow’s wider stalemate with the West.

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Nord Stream 2 said the subsidiary, Gas for Europe GmbH, would be headquartered in the German city of Schwerin. It will own and operate the 54-kilometer section of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline located in German territorial waters and the Lubmin landing facility as an independent transmission operator, the company said, in accordance with German regulations.

The pipeline was built in September, but has remained unemployed since then awaiting certification from Germany and the European Union.

Germany’s Federal Grid Agency – which regulates the country’s electricity, gas, telecommunications, post and railway sectors – suspended a pipeline certification process in November, saying the operator must register a legal entity in Germany.

The regulator said Wednesday that the certification procedure will remain suspended until the transfer of key assets and human resources to the subsidiary is completed and the Federal Grid Agency will be able to check the unit’s documents for completeness.

“Currently we can not predict when the procedure will resume,” said in a statement.

Uniper (UN01.DE), one of the financial backers of Nord Stream 2, expects the pipeline to be available for gas transportation from the start of the next winter heating season in October.

Russia has said the commissioning of the pipeline would ease Europe’s gas crisis, which saw natural gas prices rise to all-time highs last month amid tight supplies and an economic recovery from the pandemic. .

Some politicians and industry experts in Europe have accused Russia of deliberately restricting gas flows to the West in order to speed up the start of gas sales through Nord Stream 2, a charge Russia denies.

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Reporting by Anton Kolodyazhnyy, Polina Devitt and Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow, Christoph Steitz in Frankfurt; Edited by Jan Harvey and Bernadette Baum

Our standards: Principles of Thomson Reuters Trust.

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2/ https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/nord-stream-2-registers-german-subsidiary-certification-still-suspended-2022-01-26/

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