The German regulator, the German Federal Grid Agency, will reject the request by the operators of the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines to exempt them from the provisions of the EU Gas Directive. The German daily Handelsblatt learned about this on Friday, May 1.
The decision is justified by the fact that the Russian energy project does not meet the exemption criterion of the EU Gas Directive. According to the directive, only pipelines that were completed before the entry into force of the directive, i.e. on 23 May 2019, can be considered for exemption.
“Nord Stream 2” is still under construction, although it is 90% ready, the publication writes.
According to Handelsblatt, the decision of the German regulator will hit the project and the Russian oil and gas company Gazprom, as the need to comply with the EU gas directive will affect the profitability of the pipeline.
The German Federal Network Agency will officially announce its decision on May 8.
In January, the companies operating the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 pipelines asked the German Federal Grid Agency to exempt them from the EU gas directive. The applications referred to the exemption from the provisions contained in paragraph 28b of the Energy Economics Act.
This paragraph regulates the operation of foreign gas pipelines running through Germany. Pipelines from third countries within EU territorial waters must comply with the regulations, which previously only applied to above-ground pipes.
As stated in the directive, a gas producer cannot own the pipeline that supplies it to the EU. As a result, the gas directive, if extended to the Russian gas pipeline, will affect Nord Stream 2 AG, which is being built by Nord Stream 2 AG, of which Gazprom is the sole shareholder.