BERLIN (Sputnik) – The decision of the German Federal Network Agency was announced earlier on Wednesday. According to agency’s chief Jochen Homann, the changes to the plan were aimed at protecting German gas customers from unnecessary costs.
"The Federal Network Agency’s decision affects one of two connecting pipes of Nord Stream 2 that are being planned and constructed by network operators in Germany. Regardless of this decision, the approval procedure and international consultations are underway. This decision will not affect the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline," the press service said.
The move came after the US House of Representatives approved by a 419-3 vote on Tuesday a new version of a bill that would impose sweeping sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea, and limit President Donald Trump’s ability to lift the restrictions on Moscow. The measures target Russia's defense, intelligence, mining, shipping and railway industries, and restrict dealings with Russian banks and energy companies. The proposed bill also considers Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project as a threat to Ukraine's and the European Union's energy security.
In April, Gazprom's subsidiary Nord Stream 2 AG signed a deal with French Engie, UK’s Royal Dutch Shell, Austria’s OMV and Germany's Uniper and Wintershall, which agreed to provide part of long-term financing of the gas pipeline project, estimated at 9.5 billion euros ($10.6 billion).
The Nord Stream 2 project presumes the construction of two gas pipelines with a combined annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas. The new pipeline is planned to be laid along the existing Nord Stream pipeline route from the Russian coast through the Baltic Sea, on to a hub in Germany.