Speaking at a press conference, Bundesnetzagentur President Jochen Homann said the certification process remained suspended pending the submission of documentation from Switzerland-based Nord Stream 2 AG on the transfer of assets to a new German company.
Homann said the certification process included a 1st preliminary decision from the regulator followed by a review by the European Commission.
With all that in mind, he said:
- There will be no decisions in the 1st half of the year
Homann said the regulator did not yet have the updated documentation:
- As soon as we receive the documents, the review period starts again
Following Homann's comments, it seems increasingly unlikely that Nord Stream 2 will be available until next summer at the earliest for supplies to Europe, which is adding to the pressure on European gas prices.
European gas prices are again at record highs on renewed winter supply concerns given the state of gas storage stocks and lower-than-expected Russian deliveries.
According to S&P Global Platts price assessments, the TTF day-ahead price hit a new record of Eur 130/MWh ($42.91/MMBtu) Dec. 15, up 655% year on year.
The 55 Bcm/year Nord Stream 2 pipeline was completed in September, but commercial operations have yet to start as the regulatory process continues.
The German regulator said the certification procedure would remain suspended until the main assets and human resources from Nord Stream 2 AG are transferred to the new German subsidiary.
The regulator had 4 months from Sept. 8 to issue a draft decision on certification, but the process is now suspended and the 4-month process will resume once the regulator is satisfied that the actions around the German subsidiary are completed.
It remains unclear when the process of transferring assets to the new subsidiary will be completed, but certain parts of the process are expected to be relatively time-consuming.