The German Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) granted Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA (PGNiG) and its German subsidiary, PGNiG Supply & Trading GMBH (PST), participation in the certification proceedings for the now-complete Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline.
PGNiG and PST believe that Nord Stream 2 does not meet the formal and substantive requirements for certification under the preferential model of Independent Transmission Operator (ITO), established by the European Union (EU). Both companies also argue that a positive decision by BNetzA would put at risk the security of gas supply to the EU and its member states.
Both companies emphasize that putting the pipeline into operation before obtaining a final certification decision will constitute a breach of both German and EU law. Operating without a final certification decision would lead to discrimination against other energy companies and distortion of the competition in the EU’s internal gas market. For this reason, PGNiG and PST reserve their right to use all legal measures to oppose certification of Nord Stream 2.
Certification proceedings began Sept. 8, 2021, Nord Stream 2 having submitted its complete application on June 11. The European Commission participates in proceedings and will supply its own opinion to BNetzA, which will then incorporate it into its final opinion.
“We are pleased with BNetzA’s decision on granting both companies participation in the certification proceedings. The application for ITO model certification submitted by Nord Stream 2 AG proves that the Swiss company still seeks to obtain regulatory privileges. The effects of our involvement in the Nord Stream 2 case show that we can defend our position effectively. In the case of an application for derogation of the pipeline from the requirements of EU law, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf shared the arguments raised by PGNiG SA and PST GmbH and dismissed Nord Stream 2 AG’s complaint,” said Paweł Majewski, president of PGNiG’s management board.
PJSC Gazpom completed building Nord Stream 2 earlier this month despite the regional court’s August decision (OGJ Online, Sept. 10, 2021). The 55-billion cu m/year pipeline runs 760 miles along the Baltic Sea floor from Ust-Luga, Russia, to Greifswald, Germany.