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Polish regulator does not grant its approval on Nord Stream-2 joint venture

Participants of the joint venture have 14 days to appeal the decision of the regulator

MOSCOW, July 22. /TASS/. The Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has not approved the creation of a joint venture by six parties responsible for the construction and operation of the Nord Stream 2, the regulator said in a statement.

The application for the official approval of a joint venture was submitted to the regulator in December 2015.

In February 2016, the regulator extended the consideration of the application by six months.

Participants of the joint venture have 14 days to appeal the decision of the regulator. This period may be extended at their request for another two weeks.

The parties to the creation of the joint venture are Russian gas giant Gazprom, Uniper Global Commodities SE (Germany), Engi SA (France), OMV Nord Stream II Holding AG (Switzerland), Shell (the Netherlands), Wintershall Nederland BV (the Netherlands). The companies planned to complete the buyout of their stakes in the joint venture after the approval by the Polish regulator.

UOKiK asked the gas companies operating in Poland to evaluate the impact the future joint venture may have on the local market.

The watchdog came to conclusion that the establishment of the joint venture may restrict competition.

"Currently, Gazprom occupies a dominant position on the Polish market in terms of gas supplies and the deal may further strengthen the market supremacy of the company regarding the clients in our country," the statement said.

In December 2015, UOKiK received a request for the assessment of the joint venture Nord Stream-2 in December last year. It was reported, that it Russian Gazprom and companies from Germany, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland were going to participate in it.

In February, UOKiK extended the deadline for consideration of creating a joint venture for the gas pipeline Nord Stream-2.

Earlier the Polish government has repeatedly criticized plans to build the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline, calling the project "a geopolitical project of Russia".

The Nord Stream-2 projects includes the construction of two lines of the offshore gas pipeline with a total capacity of 55 bln cubic meters of gas a year from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, in addition to the existing two lines. The project is to be implemented by the new engineering company New European Pipeline AG. The stakes of partners in Nord Stream 2 AG will be distributed as follows: Gazprom will hold 50%, while BASF, E.ON, Engie, OMV and Shell will own 10% each.