Gazprom approved the termination of the Nord Stream 2 shareholders' agreement and now its partners, the 5 companies that hoped to become shareholders in the pipeline, hope to come up with a Plan B this year, the Russian gas monopoly said.
Nord Stream 2 was set up for the planning, construction and subsequent operation of the 55bn m³/yr pipeline from its headquarters in Zug, Switzerland.
Earlier Gazprom and its European partners – Shell, OMV, Engie, Uniper and Wintershall – intended to create a joint venture and sent a corresponding request to the German and Polish anti-monopoly regulators. The companies asked permission to set up a joint venture. Germany said yes, Poland withheld consent on the grounds that the joint venture could lead to a restriction of competition. Later on, the companies withdrew the application filed with the Polish office.
As reported by the head of Gazprom Alexei Miller, cited by Tass, the participants of the project will define a new model for financing the line this year. The first line is operated by a joint venture involving Gazprom, and it was project financed relatively cheaply as the banks took no risk.
Due to start in 2019 the pipeline has to pass through the Baltic Sea from the Russian coast to the coast of Germany, doubling the existing capacity of Nord Stream 1. Capital expenditure is estimated at €8bn ($8.6bn). The total cost, given the project financing, is estimated at €9.9bn The project is already in the early stages of realisation, with the first sections of linepipe arriving from the mills in September and a €600mn contract signed with Wasco for weightcoating the sections.