Uniper says to revise investment after reports on OPAL stake sale
BERLIN, Feb 24 (PRIME) -- German energy giant Uniper is revising its participation in the OPAL natural gas pipeline that distributes gas from the Nord Stream pipeline, a company spokesperson commented late on Wednesday on media reports about a planned sale of the companyТs 20% stake in the pipeline.
German business daily Handelsblatt reported quoting financial sources that there were three contenders to buy the stake, and that final proposals were to be presented in March. The deal could value OPAL at 1.5Ц1.75 billion euros, with UniperТs stake costing 300Ц350 million euros.
УCurrently, Uniper is studying strategic options, and is revising future participation in OPAL in the framework of the groupТs strategy,Ф the spokesperson said.
Under the third energy package, a single supplier is allowed to use only 50% of capacities of pipelines that run through Europe. But the OPAL pipeline was specifically built to intake natural gas from the Nord Stream pipeline, which means that Russian gas giant Gazprom is the only company that can pump gas into it.
In 2016, the European Commission expanded access of Gazprom to the pipelineТs capacities, allowing it to book 50% under exclusive rights and acquire access to the remaining 50% through the auctions with third parties. But Poland appealed against the decision, and the E.U. court voided the European CommissionТs decision in September 2019. Later the German Economy Ministry appealed against the latter ruling, but the E.U. Court of Justice turned down the appeal.