The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will be subject to EU anti-monopoly requirements, Poland’s deputy Prime Minister and State Assets Minister, Jacek Sasin said on Wednesday, commenting on the recent ruling of a German court.
German court upholds the EU gas directive regarding NS2
On Wednesday the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court rejected a complaint brought last year by the operators of the Gazprom-backed project against the May 20 decision by the German energy regulator declining to grant them an exemption.
This means that Russia’s Gazprom (state-owned energy giant that is the producer of the gas and the owner of the pipeline project company) will have to auction off half of the pipeline’s capacity to third parties.
The deputy Prime Minister said that thanks to the Polish natural gas giant PGNiG’s involvement in the NS2 court proceedings in Germany, the contested gas pipeline is not exempt from EU gas-market rules.
EU rules require the companies that produce, transport and distribute gas within the bloc to be separate, or unbundled to prevent pipeline operators from monopolising capacity and possibly obstructing competitors’ access to infrastructure.
“The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline which is nearly completed will not be able to be used by the Russians as a tool for gas blackmail for countries in our part of Europe,” Minister Sasin told Polish public broadcaster TVP.
“The Russian side will also not be able to dictate prices, which was a practice that, unfortunately, Poland has also experienced,” he added.
According to the deputy Prime Minister, thanks to Wednesday’s ruling, “which is primarily owed to PGNiG [Polish state gas giant]… we managed to… secure the energy security of Poland and neighbouring countries.”
According to Gazprom, the pipeline is nearly complete. It consists of two lines, with each approximately 1,230 km long. When completed, it will be able to transport 55 bn m³ of natural gas from Russia to Germany annually, bypassing Ukraine and Poland.
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