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German regulator suspends certification of Nord Stream 2 AG as independent operator

Germany’s Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) has "suspended the procedure to certify Nord Stream 2 AG as an independent transmission operator" due to organization and legal issues, the regulator said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Following a thorough examination of the documentation, the Bundesnetzagentur concluded that it would only be possible to certify an operator of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if that operator was organized in a legal form under German law," the statement said.

"Nord Stream 2 AG, which is based in Zug (Switzerland), has decided not to transform its existing legal form but instead to found a subsidiary under German law solely to govern the German part of the pipeline. This subsidiary is to become the owner and operator of the German part of the pipeline. The subsidiary must then fulfil the requirements of an independent transmission operator as set out in the German Energy Industry Act," the regulator said, adding that "the certification procedure will remain suspended until the main assets and human resources have been transferred to the subsidiary and the Bundesnetzagentur is able to check whether the documentation resubmitted by the subsidiary, as the new applicant, is complete."

The regulator will be able to resume its examination "in the remainder of the four-month period set out in law," according to the statement. Previously January 8, 2022 was mentioned as the deadline.

The construction of Nord Stream 2 was fully completed on September 10, 2021. Before pumping can commence, the operator of the project should be registered as an independent transport operator - the Federal grid agency is to issue certification by January 8, 2022. The agency cannot prohibit commercial gas pumping, but if it starts before the registration is finalized the operator will be fined. This registration is obligatory for meeting the norms of the EU Gas Directive.

[Source: Tass, Moscow, 16Nov21]

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