Finance

Russian gas pipeline further delayed by German objections

The pipeline should allow more Russian gas to be delivered directly to Western Europe, but the project is plagued by setbacks. US sanctions previously caused delays and now the German regulator is obstructing.

Not a Swiss company

The Bundesnetzagentur must approve the company responsible for operating the pipeline in Germany. The Russian Gazprom, owner of the line, had set up a company in Switzerland for this, but that is not allowed, the Germans say.

Only a German company is allowed to control the German part of the pipeline. The Swiss company has now set up a subsidiary in Germany for this, but the Bundesnetzagentur will only continue with the approval procedure if the personnel and assets have actually been transferred to Germany, the regulator writes.

EU is desperate for gas

The deadline of January 8 that the regulator had to come up with a draft decision has been pushed back due to the situation. After the Bundesnetzagentur, the European Commission must also consider the permit, which means that it could take until the spring of 2022 before gas actually flows through the pipeline.

And that is not very convenient, because the EU is desperate for more Russian gas. Due to high demand for energy and few gas reserves, the gas price has risen to record highs in recent months.

The wholesale price for gas also rose sharply today. After the news was announced, the price rose by about 5 percent, to 88 euros. In one day, gas even became more than 10 percent more expensive.

More gas upon approval

Russia has said several times that if Nord Stream 2 is certified, that country can immediately start supplying more gas. At the same time, Russia has already decided for several months not to book additional space through the existing gas pipelines, leading critics to argue that Moscow is playing power games.

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