16 Nov 2021 15:16

Nord Stream2 certification could be on hold for 4-6 weeks, whole process shouldn't take longer than planned - German diplomatic source

BERLIN. Nov 16 (Interfax) - The certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline could be suspended for four to six weeks, but the overall process should not take longer than planned, a German diplomatic source told Interfax.

The source said the decision had not been planned but was taken to comply with German law by the fastest and most effective means.

The certification could be on hold for four to six weeks but this should not affect the overall timing of the certification process - this is not expected to increase, the source said.

The German Federal Network Agency or Bundesnetzagentur said on Tuesday that it had suspended the certification procedure for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline until Nord Stream 2 AG, which is based in Zug, Switzerland, has completed creating a subsidiary in order to operate the German national section of the pipeline, as well as the transfer of major assets and human resources to it.

"Our company is taking this step in order to ensure compliance with applicable rules and regulations. We are not commenting on the details of the procedure, its timing, or the impact on the timing of the pipeline's commissioning," Nord Stream 2 AG's press service said about the step.

Bundesnetzagentur concluded that "it would only be possible to certify an operator of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if that operator was organized in a legal form under German law."

Nord Stream 2 AG "has decided not to transform its existing legal form but instead to found a subsidiary under German law solely to govern the German part of the pipeline. This subsidiary is to become the owner and operator of the German part of the pipeline. The subsidiary must then fulfil the requirements of an independent transmission operator as set out in the German Energy Industry Act," the regulator said.

"The certification procedure will remain suspended until the main assets and human resources have been transferred to the subsidiary and the Bundesnetzagentur is able to check whether the documentation resubmitted by the subsidiary, as the new applicant, is complete. When these requirements have been fulfilled, the Bundesnetzagentur will be able to resume its examination in the remainder of the four-month period set out in law, produce a draft decision and deliver it to the European Commission for an opinion, as provided for in the EU legislation on the internal market," it said.

Nord Stream 2 will be able to carry 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the Slavyanskaya compressor station in the Kingisepp district of the Leningrad region across the Baltic Sea to Germany. Construction of the first pipeline string was completed in early June and the second was finished in September. The first string has already been filled with gas and is ready for service.