Saturday, July 17, 2021

OPAL: Germany loses appeal; possible repercussions on Nord Stream 2

 As well known, Germany has lodged an appeal against the EUGC decision concerning the quantity of gas passed through the OPAL pipeline. The ECJ rejected this appeal

Handelsblatt writes:

In the dispute over the expansion of Russian gas supplies, Germany suffered a defeat before the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In a judgment published on Thursday, the ECJ rejected Germany's appeal against a decision by the EU court. Specifically, it is about larger delivery volumes through the Opal pipeline, an extension of the first Nord Stream pipeline in the Baltic Sea, which has been in operation since 2011 and through which Russian gas is transported to Europe (Case C-848/19).

Poland had filed a lawsuit against the larger delivery quantities before the General Court of the European Union (EU-G), arguing that they endangered the country's security of supply and violated the principle of energy solidarity. The court upheld the action, whereupon Germany appealed to the ECJ, which has now been rejected.

In September 2019, Poland had a decision by the EU Commission stopped at first instance, which allowed the Russian Gazprom group to make greater use of the Opal pipeline (case T-883/16). Gazprom was originally only allowed to use half the line capacity in order not to put other suppliers at a disadvantage. With a resolution from 2016, the EU Commission allowed Gazprom to significantly increase delivery volumes at the request of the Federal Network Agency. The ECJ has now confirmed that this decision was rightly declared null and void by the EU-G.

A previously published opinion by the Court of Justice stated that Germany "essentially asserts that energy solidarity is merely a political term and not a legal criterion". Accordingly, no direct rights and obligations could be derived from it.

The supreme court of the EU is now contradicting this. Since the principle of solidarity underlies all the objectives of the Union's energy policy, it cannot be assumed that it does not produce any binding legal effects. The principle includes rights and obligations for EU countries.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Lebanon: Karpower shuts down power supply

A Turkish company that provides electricity to Lebanon from two power barges shut down its operations on Friday over delayed payments and the threat of legal action against its vessels. The move is expected to increase outages in the crisis-hit Mediterranean country.

The company Karpowership has been threatening to shut down its power supply to Lebanon for weeks and said it took the decision on Friday because of 18 months of overdue payments in excess of $100 million. However, the decision comes after a Lebanese prosecutor last week threatened to seize the ships, pending an investigation into corruption and graft allegations. The company has called those accusations baseless.

The company provides around 370 megawatts — about a quarter of Lebanon’s supply - through two electricity barges that have been anchored off the Lebanese coast since 2013. The company’s contract expires in September.

“For 18 months, we have been exceedingly flexible with the (Lebanese) state, continually supplying power without payment or a payment plan, because the country was already facing very hard times,” the Karpowership statement said. 

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