Europe’s largest operator of energy networks, E.ON, said on Wednesday it has no plans to withdraw from the Russia-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. Germany suspended certification of the pipeline after the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
“We are not considering withdrawing from Nord Stream. This is an asset that cannot be sold. We could give it to the main Russian shareholder for free [Gazprom – Ed.], but this would be unprofitable,” E.ON Chief Executive Leonhard Birnbaum said, adding, “If we abandon our management rights, then we would give the majority shareholder from Russia the right to make decisions alone.”
E.ON has opposed Poland’s calls to shut down the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which has been transporting Russian natural gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea since 2011, as a possible sanction measure.
The head of the German utility also said it would be extremely difficult for Europe to significantly reduce dependence on energy supplies from Russia, at least in the next three years.
The energy giant also announced it has stopped procuring new gas contracts from Gazprom trading companies in Europe in response to the conflict in Ukraine. E.ON said that while it has no long-term supply contracts directly with gas producers, a small amount in its portfolio has been purchased from Gazprom’s affiliates.
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