Poland claims Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline does not meet European certification requirements

Poland claims Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline does not meet European certification requirements

Polish energy company PGNiG has claimed Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline does not meet EU requirements, possibly causing further delays to the certification process needed to launch gas deliveries.

A positive [certification] decision would put at risk the security of supply of the EU and member states,” the Polish company said in a statement, adding that the pipeline’s European operator Nord Stream 2 AG does not meet the requirements for certification as an Independent Transmission Operator (ITO).

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According to its statement, PGNiG is now part of the group responsible for granting certification to the newly constructed Nord Stream 2. However, it seems the company does not plan to make the process quick or easy.

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,” PGNiG’s head of management board, Pawel Majewski, stressed, as quoted by TASS.

The company also warned against launching deliveries via the pipeline before final certification comes through, calling it a breach of EU law, and vowing “to use all legal measures to oppose such conduct of Nord Stream 2 AG.”

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Construction works on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which runs from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea, ended last month. However, to start gas deliveries, the project needs to obtain European certification showing that it conforms with technical norms of Germany’s Stralsund mining authority. It should also be registered as an ITO with Germany’s federal network agency (Bundesnetzagentur), which has until January 8, 2022 to issue certification. According to EU law, the agency cannot officially ban gas pumping, but if it starts before the registration is ready, Nord Stream 2 AG would face fines.

Many experts believe the early launch of Nord Stream 2 with daily capacity comparable to the entire volume of liquefied gas that is now supplied to Europe could help curb rising gas prices. October futures on the Dutch TTF exchange reached a record $963.9 per 1,000 cubic meters this month. According to Russia’s state energy giant and owner of the pipeline, the deliveries could help stock European storage facilities, which at their current volumes are unable to meet the demand of the upcoming winter.

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