Wednesday, November 6, 2019

German government tricks in order to get Nord Stream 2 going

German newspaper Bild has obtained drafts of a federal bill that significantly softens the requirements of EU law on the permit for natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2.

The provisions of the EU gas directive stipulate that a third-state (i.e. a non-EU-state) pipeline-operator cannot be simultaneously the gas supplier.

The only exception to this rule applies to pipelines that have been completed before May 23rd 2019.

However Nord Stream 2 is not yet completed (even though the last obstacle has been removed with danish energy authority giving approval to the transition of the pipelin through Denmark's exclusive economic zone) and won't be before 2020.
Thus, the exception of the EU gas directive does not apply to Nord Stream 2. In consequence with public corporation Gaszprom as gas supplier and pipeline operator Nord Stream 2 AG under control of Gazprom, the controversial pipeline could not be powered up.

Nevertheless german government tries to override those rules in order to get Nord Stream 2 going.

The text of the bill softens the requirement of "completion before May 23rd 2019" to the "accomplishement of major investments transacted before May 23rd 2019". The 2 Bn EUR invested by german companies in this project apparently turned the balance.

The government of Angela Merkel has scheduled the vote of this bill on Friday morning, 2:25 a.m.

According to information by Bild, the EU-Commission views this bill as a violation of the EU gas directive and has announced a possible veto against this exception for Nord Stream 2, should the bill be adopted.

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