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No decision on certifying Nord Stream 2 operator in 1st half of 2022: regulator

Procedure currently suspended over German subsidiary. European gas prices reach new record highs in December

No decision on certifying Nord Stream 2 operator in 1st half of 2022: regulator

Berlin, December 17 - Neftegaz.RU. There will be no final decision on the certification of the operator of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany in the 1st half of 2022, the head of the German energy regulator said Dec. 16, S&P Global Platts analysed.

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
The Bundesnetzagentur on Nov. 16 suspended the procedure to certify Nord Stream 2 AG as an independent transmission operator while the company transferred assets to the German subsidiary to take over the application.
Homann said the regulator did not yet have the updated documentation:
  • As soon as we receive the documents, the review period starts again
Record prices
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.

Once the regulator issues its draft decision, it then passes to the European Commission to give its opinion - which could take up to 4 months - before it is returned to the German regulator to make a final decision.

To read the article in Russian

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