Poland Fined Gazprom 6.5 Billion Euros
The dispute over the controversial Baltic Sea gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 ignites again. The Polish competition authority UOKiK decided on Wednesday in Warsaw that the gas pipe under construction would hamper competition and “harm the interests of consumers”. Therefore, they imposed a fine of the equivalent of 6.5 billion euros on the Russian Gazprom group.
The European utility Uniper and the BASF subsidiary Wintershall Dea, the Austrian company OMV, France’s Engie Energy and the Dutch-British Multi Shell were fined a total of 52 million euros.
Poland’s Office for the Protection of Competition and Consumers (UOKiK) has imposed a giant fine on Russia‘s Gazprom, as well as a number of European companies, accusing them of violating Polish antitrust laws over the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
Gazprom has been fined PLN 29 billion (EUR 6.45 billion) by the Polish antimonopoly regulator, and five other companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 project – PLN 234 million (about EUR 50 million), Polish Radio reported on Wednesday. by reference to the head of UOKiK Tomasz Khrustny.
According to Khrustny, the department has completed an investigation into the construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline without the consent of the Polish antimonopoly authority. According to the Polish official, the launch of the gas pipeline threatens the security of gas supplies to Poland, and may also lead to an increase in gas prices for Polish consumers. Financial fines should force the project participants to comply with the law today and in the future, said the head of the Polish antitrust authority.
Russian Gazprom’s partners in the Nord Stream 2 project are companies from the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Denmark. Royal Dutch Shell, OMV, Engie, Uniper and Wintershall are financing the project in total by 50%, that is, up to 950 million euros each. According to the conclusion of UOKiK, they are obliged to terminate the agreements on financing the construction of the gas pipeline within thirty days. In August 2020, UOKiK also fined Gazprom 50 million euros for refusing to provide information on the Nord Stream 2 consortium.