Polish president against Nord Stream 2 pipeline

Polish president Andrzej Duda has expressed his disapproval of the plans to construct the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, that would carry more Russian gas to the EU.

During his visit in Brussels on Monday, where he met with Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, Duda said the Polish position with regards to the construction of the pipeline remained unchanged.

“We believe that the investment is economically unjustified,” he said, adding that the investment decision is more political in nature than it is based on economics.

Furthermore, Duda said the project undermines the energy solidarity within Europe, and jeopardizes the energy security not only of Poland, but also Ukraine, Slovakia and other countries.

“We believe that European solidarity will prevail over the particular way of thinking and individual interest” he said.

55 bcm of gas

To remind, in September 2015, representatives of Gazprom, BASF, E.On, Engie, OMV and Shell signed a shareholders’ agreement on implementation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project “to enhance supply of natural gas to the European Union’s market.”

The project will be developed by the new project company New European Pipeline AG. According to the document, Gazprom will own a 51 per cent share in the project company. E.ON, Shell, OMV and BASF/Wintershall will each own ten per cent and ENGIE will hold nine per cent.

The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the construction of two offshore pipelines with the aggregate annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas to be constructed from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea.

“Nord Stream 2 will double the throughput of our direct, state-of-the-art gas supply route via the Baltic Sea. It is important that those are mostly the new gas volumes, which will be sought for in Europe due to the continuous decline in its domestic production. The fact that the global energy majors participate in the project bespeaks its significance for securing reliable gas supply to European consumers,” said Alexey Miller, Gazprom CEO in September last year.


Diversification is key


However, the project has raised some eyebrows, as it is in contrast with the EU’s objective to diversify its energy sources.

In a speech in October last year, commenting on the Nord Stream 2, Commissioner Arias Cañete at the European Parliament Plenary said that that in the context of energy security, diversification is key.

“Diversification of routes and of sources. Nordstream 2 does not follow this core policy objective. On the contrary: if constructed, it would not only increase Europe’s dependence on one supplier, but it will also increase Europe’s dependence on one route. More precisely, the project would dry out the transit through Ukraine, concentrate 80% of Russian gas imports on one route and would lead to a dominant position of Gazprom on the German market by increasing its share from 40 to over 60%.”

Therefore, Cañete said in October, the alignment of this project with our European energy strategy of security of supply raises serious doubts. In this spirit, it is crucial to preserve safe transit through Ukraine, which today represents about half of Russian gas coming to the EU.

“As I said before, there is overcapacity for the transport of gas from Russia. For these reasons the Nord Stream 2 project cannot ever become a project of common interest. It cannot ever benefit from EU financing or EU support.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff