Poland’s oil and gas company PGNiG and its German subsidiary PGNiG Supply & Trading submitted a request to the German regulatory authority (BNetzA) for granting participation in the certification procedure for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline operator, a procedure that will determine if the pipeline owner will gain a privileged position on the European gas market.
“Nord Stream 2 AG does not want to comply with the ground rules of the Third Energy Package, which aim at ensuring competition and level playing field for all market participants,” said Paweł Majewski, President of PGNiG SA Management Board. “In particular Nord Stream 2 pipeline owner wants to avoid application of requirements concerning ownership unbundling, third party access and transparent tariffs that should take into account the cost of the whole pipeline. The key factor is also the negative impact of the NS2 pipeline on the EU and its Member States security of supplies. Those arguments need to be heard. Therefore, PGNiG decided to join the certification procedure conducted by BNetzA as well as to notify its position to the European Commission. Since the Court of Justice issued a verdict in the OPAL case, no one can ignore the energy solidarity principle and overlook the impact of their decisions on the security of other EU Member States anymore.”
Nord Stream 2 AG filed in June 2021 a request for certification under the Independent Transmission Operator (ITO) model. The ITO model certification enables the operator to conduct its activities in spite of the lack of full ownership unbundling from the parent company active in the production and supply of natural gas. Such unbundling is one of the ground rules of the Third energy Package and aims at guaranteeing equal and transparent rules for competition in the UE gas market. Granting the ITO model certification is only possible for the transmission systems that existed before May 23, 2019, whereas the NS2 pipeline was not even built at that date.
Moreover, PGNiG argues that Nord Stream 2 AG, which is registered in Switzerland, does not fulfil a basic requirement for granting certification, as a company has to be registered in one of the EU Member States.
On 25 August 2021, the Higher Regional Court in Düsseldorf is going to issue a verdict in the derogation case.