FRANKFURT — Germany’s energy regulator said on Tuesday it had suspended the certification process for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to pump Russian gas and said the Swiss-based consortium needed to form a company under German law to secure an operating license.
The pipeline has faced opposition from the United States and some European states, which say it will make Europe too reliant on Russian gas, although surging gas prices in Europe due to a jump in global demand has fueled some calls for more Russian supplies.
The regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur, said the Swiss company had decided not to turn itself into a German company but had set up a subsidiary under German law to deal with the section of the pipeline on Germany territory.
“A certification for the operation of Nord Stream 2 will only be considered once the operator is organized in a legal shape compliant with German law,” the regulator said.
The regulator said it would only assess an application after a transfer of major assets and budgets for staffing to the German subsidiary.
Once these preconditions had been met, the regulator said it could continue assessing the submission in the remainder of a four-month application period, which runs to early January.