German officials have blocked the certification process of Nord Stream 2, the now completed controversial gas pipeline connecting Germany and Russia, because the subsidiary set to operate the German part of pipeline not meet the conditions to be an “independent transmissions operator.”
The certification of the gas pipeline, according to the German Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), will be paused until the main funds and staff are passed on to a German subsidiary.
The construction of the pipeline was completed in September and it was later filled with gas, after which Russia’s energy giant Gazprom pointed that deliveries may start to customers in Germany and elsewhere in the EU as soon as it’s given the green light by BNetzA.
The country’s regulator insisted on Tuesday that the operator of the pipeline could only be registered as a German entity, but the Nord Stream 2 AG company is based in Switzerland and BNetzA now says most assets should be transferred to the German subsidiary Nord Stream 2 AG opted to establish to oversee the part of the pipeline that goes through the country.
Only after this transfer is completed and the German subsidiary files a new application, BNetzA said the certification will resume and will be studied during the remaining part of the 4 months approval period.
The four-month certification process only started in early September when the German regulator deemed that it had received all the required papers Nord Stream 2 AG sent when applying for certification of the pipeline in June.
That means that BNetzA might not publish the draft decision before January 2022.
Meanwhile, the news that the German energy regulator suspended the certification process of the Nord Stream 2 AG prompted 11% increase of the gas futures prices in Europe on Tuesday. December gas futures’ the trading of on the key European energy trading hub, Dutch TTF index, reached $1,042,6 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas.