Engie Contests Polish Agency Fine
French energy giant Engie will not pay the €40 ($44)mn fine that the Polish anti-trust agency, UOKiK, imposed November 9, a spokesman told NGW November 11. "We contest the procedure and we are going to appeal," he said.
Engie had obstructed the agency's investigation in the planned joint venture involving five European gas companies and Gazprom. This was blocked, and instead the five companies agreed each to finance its share. But the agency said that during the investigation, Engie failed to provide information to the agency regarding details of gas storage and transportation contracts it had with Gazprom.
These are normally confidential, but the spokesman declined to explain over the phone the reasons for the appeal. The other four companies that are contributing towards the financing are also in the sights of the agency although so far only Engie has been named.
Relations between France and Poland have worsened over Nord Stream 2, and the Polish premier Mateusz Morawiecki lashed out at his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron's recent remarks about Nato suffering "brain death." In an interview published in the November 11 Financial Times, Morawiecki suggested one reason for Nato's apparent weakness was that France was not contributing as much as it should. "It is not for lack of commitment to the alliance but rather the lack of reciprocity on behalf of some European allies," he said. "As some people bluntly say, Nord Stream 2 is paying with our European money for Russian weapons and Russian armour. So I think it is really frustrating when we see such a project having such support from key member states of the EU."