Der Spiegel: Germany plans to use Nord Stream 2 for US gas

The German Ministry of Economy is considering the option of nationalizing and further using the German part of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline for receiving and pumping liquefied natural gas (LNG). This is reported by the publication Der Spiegel.

The authorities want to saw off and nationalize the German part of the pipeline in order to subsequently connect it to a floating LNG terminal and supply gas to consumers in Germany. As an argument, supporters of nationalization talk about the existence of a quality infrastructure (distribution network with compressors and pipelines) that can be quickly used for supplies.

However, difficulties in implementing such a plan may arise due to EU environmental requirements. The fact is that the territory through which Nord Stream 2 passes is located in the pan-European Natura 2000 network, so the requirements will be strict. Moreover, the authorities may also face legal problems, since the project operator is the Swiss company Nord Stream 2 AG.

Representatives of Gazprom are unlikely to support the initiative of the German authorities, the newspaper notes, many representatives of the Russian state-owned company still expect that the pipeline will work a few years after the end of the war. Officially, the German authorities refuse to confirm the elaboration of the option of nationalization, as they are preparing for a possible reaction from Russia.

If the project to connect a floating LNG terminal is successfully implemented, the German part of Nord Stream 2 will be able to receive LNG from the United States and Qatar, among other things. At the moment, the German authorities have already concluded an agreement with American suppliers, which involves the supply, and negotiations with Qatar on large-scale purchases and replacement of gas from Russia continue .

In an interview with The Insider, energy expert Mikhail Krutikhin said that he sees in this decision an opportunity to provide gas not only to Germany, but also to other European countries. “Under Nord Stream 2, additional pipelines were laid through the Czech Republic and all the way to Austria, such systems as EUGAL. If Nord Stream 1 focused on the NEL and OPAL systems, which received and receive gas and deliver it further across Germany, even to the Netherlands, then another system was added here, it is empty, ”Krutikhin says.

He insists that the German authorities should emphasize and nationalize not only the section of the pipeline, but also the companies responsible for gas distribution capacities in order to control further deliveries from LNG terminals. Krutikhin is also sure that such a decision of Germany will not go unanswered by Russia, as an example he cited Russia's actions against Poland, through which Gazprom stopped gas transit. Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov refused to comment on the possible nationalization of part of Nord Stream 2.

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