Naftogaz allowed role in Nord Stream 2 certification
Ukraine's Naftogaz has been allowed to take part in the certification process for the Russian-owned Nord Stream 2 operating company, the company announced on November 15.
Naftogaz requested involvement from German energy regulator BNetzA, which is assessing whether Nord Stream 2 AG can be certified as an independent transmission operator – one of three unbundling models allowed under the EU's amended gas directive.
"We have significant legal and commercial interests in the European gas market and are encouraged by the fact that BNetzA is willing to examine the issue from different angles," Naftogaz CEO Yuriy Vitrenko said in a statement. "Our view remains: the Nord Stream 2 pipeline operator cannot be certified unless it complies with all requirements of EU competition and energy law. There can be no special treatment for Gazprom."
Vitrenko said Nord Stream 2 was a danger to both German and European energy security, was anti-competitive in nature and would not provide Europe with any extra gas import capacity.
"More than enough excess transit capacity exists today, but is not being used by Gazprom in its existing contracts with Ukraine’s Gas Transmission System Operator," the CEO said. "We see no justifiable commercial purpose for Nord Stream 2."
BNetzA has four month until January 2022 to reach a draft decision on Nord Stream 2's certification, and then the European Commission (EC) has another two to four months to review that decision and make its recommendation to the German regulator, which then must take a final decision.
As Naftogaz noted, BNetzA has to take "the utmost account" of the EC's recommendation, but the commission does not have the power to veto the regulator's final decision.