Full marketing of OPAL capacities can begin shortly

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court supports the EU Court’s decision and is lifting the suspension of the disputed settlement agreement

Kassel. Marketing of the long unused OPAL capacities can begin shortly: After the General Court of the European Union rejected the urgent applications to suspend the enforcement of the decision made by the EU Commission (file ref. T-849/16 R, T-883/16 R and T-130/17 R), the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court has now also followed suit. The urgent applications concerned the auctioning of 50 percent of the transport capacities of the OPAL pipeline. The Higher Regional Court lifted the suspension of the disputed settlement agreement dated 30 December 2016 (file ref. VI-3 kart 1203/16) on 27 July 2017.
OPAL Gastransport expects the German Federal Network Agency to withdraw the provisional order to implement the decision made by the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court on 30 December 2016 (file ref. BK708-009-E1) in the coming week. OPAL capacities could then be offered on the European PRISMA capacity platform for the point of entry in Greifswald and the point of exit in Brandov. The first auctions are scheduled for calendar week 31. The basis for this are the applicable terms and conditions and the auction calendar of PRISMA European Capacity Platform GmbH.

The settlement agreement concluded on 28 November 2016 is the basis for the  amended exemption decision, according to which 50 percent of the transit capacities of OPAL Gastransport, in line with the original OPAL exemption decision, remain completely exempt from the network access and network tariff regulation. The remaining 50 percent will be marketed in future as “partially regulated” capacities. Although these capacities are exempt from the network tariff provisions, they are subject to the general network access regime and will be auctioned off via the PRISMA capacity platform.

OPAL Gastransport operates the OPAL, a pipeline approximately 470 kilometers in length which runs in a southerly direction from the Nord Stream landing point in Lubmin near Greifswald as far as the Czech Republic. Along the route, the natural gas pipeline with a transport capacity of 36 billion cubic meters of gas per year crosses the federal states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg and Saxony.