Nord Stream 2 Takes Another Step Forward

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The Nord Stream 2 project company has filed an application for a precautionary certification as an independent transmission system operator (TSO) in Germany. This as it is making final steps in construction of the controversial gas pipeline from Russia, Nord Stream 2 AG said Thursday (LNGI Apr.1'21). The 55 Bcm/yr offshore gas pipeline will double Russia’s piped gas export capacity in the Baltic Sea, lowering the sole exporter Gazprom’s cost of supply and improving its position in competition with LNG in northwestern Europe. The Legal Landscape An independent TSO is required to operate a short 12 km section in German near-shore waters, in line with the EU Gas Directive amended in 2019 to impose EU’s antimonopoly rules on that section of the pipeline. As a result, Gazprom, the sole shareholder of Nord Stream 2 AG and the only possible gas supplier for the pipeline, might have to sell a controlling stake in the TSO to make it truly independent. Under the amended EU Gas Directive, Gazprom will have to unbundle or provide third-party access to the mentioned section of Nord Stream 2 if it doesn’t want a 50% cap on pipe utilization (LNGI Feb.14'19). Nord Stream 2 AG however said in a statement that it continues to contest the amended Gas Directive in court and that the filed application “does not imply any change or moderation of Nord Stream 2 AG’s legal position on the amended Gas Directive or the objectives that it continues to firmly pursue with the aforementioned litigations/arbitration.”

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