The gas directive which should cover Nord Stream 2 was adopted. Preparations aiming to comply the directive with the EU law has started. Now it will start a real race against the time, says Mariusz Marszałkowski from College of Europe, and cooperator of BiznesAlert.pl.
– The race will be linked to the ratification of the directive in the Bundestag and the Bundesrat. Certainly we cannot expect any rush in here, argues Marszałkowski. Works on the directive speeded up at the turn of 2018 and 2019. Compliance the Nord Stream 2 with EU law may affect the project and the schedule of its accomplishment. However we do not know to what extent it will cover the pipeline.
The Russians can undertake a number of actions to adapt the project to EU law and, at the same time, to defend their interests. – The idea of establishing a consortium consisting of companies involved in Nord Stream 2 financing appeared, but the consent of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection is required – says Marszałkowski, and he reminds that the Polish office has already blocked this form of concentration.
– The second option is conveying the management of the gas pipeline to the German operator – admits our interlocutor. He also reminded that half of the capacity of Nord Stream 2 must be reserved for suppliers other than Gazprom in order to fulfill third party access (TPA) regulations from the third EU energy package. – The Gazprom’s admission procedure for reserving the entire capacity of the Nord Stream 1 offshoot named OPAL lasted for over six years. In the case of Nord Stream 2 it can be similar – he explains
Nord Stream 2 must also have transmission tariffs, which will be determined by the German regulator Bundesnetzagentur. – The relatively strong position of the European Commission is also a challenge. It would have been easier to negotiate only with the Germans – says Marszałkowski, referring to the fact that according to the revised gas directive, the EC will approve the implementation of the EU law towards Nord Stream 2.
– Another challenge for Gazprom is a provision on operations transparency, especially when it comes to security of supply. For Russians it is completely unclear and it can jeopardize the project functioning – concludes Marszałkowski.