Poland Opens Case against Nord Stream 2 Funders

The Polish Office for the Protection of Competition (UOKiK) has launched an antitrust investigation against Gazprom and five companies that fund Nord Stream 2.

“Two years ago, the company that was supposed to construct the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was not cleared for this transaction by UOKiK,” explains Marek Niechciał, the President of UOKiK. “Unfortunately, as the preliminary proceedings proved, the entities decided to finance this project despite UOKIK’s objection. This may constitute a violation of anti-monopoly law and that is why we put the allegations to Gazprom and five other entities.”

In 2016, Poland denied the project participants permission to create a joint venture for the construction of a gas pipeline on the territory of the country. After that, Gazprom, Shell, Uniper, Wintershall and other participants of the consortium withdrew the relevant application.

According to UOKiK, despite this, the companies nevertheless continued to finance the construction of Nord Stream 2, an act considered a violation of anti-monopoly legislation. If this fact is confirmed, the consortium faces a fine of up to 10 percent of the annual turnover.

In addition, the anti-monopoly authority may order the sale of part of the assets of the partnership and dissolve it.

The second Nord Stream is to pass along the basin of the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. The first Nord Stream transports 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year on two strings; the second gas pipeline is designed for the same capacity.

By Dimitri Dolaberidze

10 May 2018 19:09