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    Poland accesses German NS 2 certification process

Summary

The state oil and gas company PGNiG is determined to stop the certification of the pipeline company as an independent system operator, despite the high price in Europe.

by: William Powell

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Complimentary, Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Top Stories, Corporate, Political, TSO, Infrastructure, News By Country, Germany

Poland accesses German NS 2 certification process

German network regulator BNetzA has granted Polish state PGNiG and its German subsidiary PGNiG Supply & Trading (PST) the right to participate in the certification proceedings for Nord Stream 2, the Polish company said September 22.

Certification is a key requirement if the 55bn m³/yr pipeline linking Russia to Germany is to start commercial operations, and Poland is determined to prevent it.

Gazprom's wholly-owned Swiss subsidiary Nord Stream 2 AG is applying for certification as an independent transmission system operator (ITO), while continuing to fight in the courts the application of an amended onshore regulation to an offshore pipeline.

“We are pleased with BNetzA’s decision on granting both companies participation in the certification proceedings. The application for Independent Transmission System Owner (ITO) model certification submitted by Nord Stream 2 AG proves that the Swiss company still seeks to obtain regulatory privileges.

"The effects of our involvement in the Nord Stream 2 case show that we can defend our position effectively. In the case of an application for derogation of the pipeline from the requirements of EU law, the Higher Regional Court of Dusseldorf shared the arguments raised by PGNiG and PST and dismissed Nord Stream 2 AG’s complaint,” said PGNiG's CEO Paweł Majewski.

Not only does the pipeline not meet the requirements for ITO certification, but a positive decision of the BNetzA would put at risk the security of supply of the EU and member states, they said. This is despite gas prices in Europe that are so high that industrial users there are turning down output.

“In the certification proceedings, we will also seek to ensure that the owner of Nord Stream 2 cannot avoid the application of ownership unbundling requirements, third party access and transparent tariffs which take into account the costs of the entire pipeline. We will prove consistently that Nord Stream 2 AG does not meet the formal and substantive requirements for the operator of the pipeline, in particular those relating to security of supply and the corporate structure of the company,” said Majewski.

Operating without final certification decision would lead to discrimination of other energy companies and distortion of the competition on the internal gas market. For this reason, it said, PGNiG and PST reserve their right to use all legal measures to oppose such conduct of Nord Stream 2 AG.

The European Commission (EC) is also party to the proceedings and will deliver its opinion to the BNetzA. PGNiG said that BNetzA will "take the utmost account of the EC's opinion."