HCSS in the media

Western cash to help build Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline

April 26th 2017 - 10:36

Moscow’s plan to build another natural gas pipeline connecting Russia and Germany overcame a significant hurdle Monday, when five West European companies agreed to finance up to half of Gazprom’s €9.5 billion Nord Stream 2 project. That sidesteps opposition last year by Poland’s competition watchdog, which blocked a planned joint venture between Gazprom and the five companies — France’s Engie, Austria’s OMV, Anglo-Dutch Shell, and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall.

Each European company will fund up to 10 percent, or €950 million, of the project, the companies said in a joint statement with Gazprom. But unlike the scheme that fell afoul of Warsaw, the Russian gas giant will remain fully in control. “Gazprom is and will remain the sole shareholder of the project company, Nord Stream 2 AG,” the statement said.

Under the agreement signed in Paris, each of the five companies will provide a funding facility of €285 million and make the remaining €665 million available in a combination of short and long-term funding and guarantees. The financing deal is “definitely good news for the project,” said Sijbren de Jong to Politico Europe, but he added that the pipeline still faces likely legal challenges.

The full article can be read here (behind a paywall).

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Sijbren de Jong is a Strategic Analyst at HCSS and lecturer in Geo-Economics at Leiden University, The Hague. He has a PhD in EU external energy security relations from the University of Leuven and holds degrees in Economic Geography (MSc) from the University of Groningen and Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding (MA) from the University of Leuven. His geographical areas of expertise include Russia, Central Asia and the Caspian Sea Region; Central and Eastern Europe; and the Western Balkans.