Germany’s federal networks regulator BNA said on Monday it would decide no later than January 8, 2022 whether it will certify Nord Stream 2 and issue an operating license for the natural gas pipeline.
“The Federal Network Agency of Germany announced today that Nord Stream 2 AG has submitted all the documents required for verification by the agency. Thus, the Federal Network Agency has four months to prepare a draft decision and submit it to the European Commission,” the regulator, Bundesnetzagentur, told Russian news outlet Sputnik on Monday.
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The documents were received on September 8, so the four-month deadline expires on January 8.
Last Friday, Gazprom said it had completed the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, although gas flows on the controversial Russia-led pipeline cannot begin until Germany grants an operating license to the project.
Earlier last week, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany was set to be completed within days and come on stream.
But in order to begin shipping gas to Germany, Nord Stream 2 will need the go-ahead from the German regulator via an operational license.
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Last month, a German court ruled that Nord Stream 2 will have to obey European Union regulations that separate owners of the pipelines from suppliers of gas, dealing a blow to Gazprom, who sought to have EU rules waived for the controversial pipeline.
Nord Stream 2 AG, the company behind the pipeline, said on Friday that after the mechanical completion of the construction, “the required pre-commissioning activities will be carried out with the goal to put the pipeline into operation before the end of this year.”
Gazprom hopes to start gas flows via the first leg of the pipeline as early as October 1, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing sources with direct knowledge of the Russian gas giant’s plans.