Nord Stream 2 pipeline subsidiary says ‘will probably be wound up’: website
The recently created German subsidiary of the Nord Stream 2 operating company — Gas for Europe GmbH — expects to be wound up, the company said on its website.
In an undated message on the home page of its website, Gas for Europe said: “Due to current developments, also at our shareholder Nord Stream 2 AG, Gas for Europe GmbH will probably be wound up.”
Switzerland-based Nord Stream 2 AG said in late January that Gas for Europe GmbH had been established to operate the 54-km section of the pipeline located in German territorial waters in response to an order from the German regulator as part of the certification process for Nord Stream 2.
Nord Stream 2 AG denied March 2 reports that it had filed for bankruptcy, however, saying it had only informed local authorities that it had terminated employee contracts.
Numerous media reports, citing sources and Swiss officials, on March 1 said Nord Stream 2 AG had filed for insolvency or was planning to after US sanctions were imposed against the company on Feb. 23.
“We do not confirm the media reports that Nord Stream 2 has filed for bankruptcy,” it said in emailed comments.
“The company only informed the local authorities that the company had to terminate contracts with employees following the imposition of US sanctions on the company,” it said.
The US imposed sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and its corporate officers on Feb. 23, a day before Russia began its invasion of Ukraine.
Companies had until March 2 to wind down any transactions involving Nord Stream 2 AG or its subsidiaries to avoid the impact of the sanctions.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Feb. 22 said the certification process for Nord Stream 2 AG had been suspended pending a review of Germany’s gas supply security.
Five European energy companies helped finance the construction of Nord Stream 2, which was completed in September 2021 and filled with gas ready to begin commercial flows.
Shell, Austria’s OMV, and Germany’s Wintershall Dea have all distanced themselves from the project in recent days.
Shell on Feb. 28 said it intended to end its involvement in Nord Stream 2, while OMV said March 1 it would review its role in the project.
Wintershall Dea said March 2 it had written off its investments in Nord Stream 2 totaling Eur1 billion ($1.1 billion).
France’s Engie on March 2 said that, as a lender, it was exposed to Eur987million of credit risk that could impact its accounts in the event of Nord Stream 2 filing for insolvency.
And Finland’s Fortum — majority owner of Germany’s Uniper — said March 3 its Russian generating assets and exposure in Nord Stream 2 carried a book value of Eur5.5 billion.
The five companies all loaned money for the construction of the project, initially pledging to invest Eur950 million each.