Dutch Gasunie becomes a Nord Stream AG shareholder
On June 10, 2008, N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie was added into the Nord Stream AG shareholders register as a new shareholder.
Pursuant to the Umbrella Agreement entered into by Gazprom and Gasunie, the Dutch company obtained a 9 per cent stake in Nord Stream AG owing to a reduction in E.ON Ruhrgas and Wintershall Holding stakes by 4.5 per cent each.
The Gasunie's entry into the Nord Stream project deal was clinched upon receipt of approvals from Nord Stream AG shareholders' regulatory bodies and signing of a number of documents set out in the Umbrella Agreement.
As a result, Nord Stream AG shareholdings are now split in the following way: Gazprom – 51 per cent, Wintershall Holding and E.ON AG – 20 per cent each, N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie – 9 per cent.
The deal is a crucial event for deeper cooperation between Gazprom and Gasunie. The participation of a new partner in Nord Stream will raise its status of an international project aimed at ensuring reliable gas supply to European consumers and fostering energy security of the continent.
N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie is a state owned gas infrastructure and transmission company based in the Netherlands. The company owns one of the largest gas distribution networks in Europe with a total length exceeding 12,000 km. The network annually supplies up to 100 bcm of gas, which is a significant part of the total European gas consumption.
In June 2006, the Nord Stream project partners selected Gasunie as the fourth shareholder.
In October 2006, Gazprom and N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie inked the Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate in the Nord Stream and BBL projects.
In November 2007, Gazprom and Gasunie entered into the Umbrella Agreement to partner in the Nord Stream and BBL gas pipeline projects and to utilize Gasunie's gas transmission capacities on the territory of the Netherlands.
The Umbrella Agreement provides for Gasunie to obtain a 9 per cent stake in Nord Stream AG and for Gazprom – an option for purchasing a 9 per cent stake in BBL Company.
Dutch BBL Company (Balgzand Bacton Line) is responsible for constructing and operating the recently built BBL interconnector between the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Nord Stream AG (initially named as North European Gas Pipeline Company) was established in 2005 for engineering, constructing and operating the Nord Stream gas pipeline.
The gas pipeline length is 1,200 km. Nord Stream's first line with the throughput of 27.5 bcm per year will be commissioned in 2010. Upon construction of the second line the throughput will double to 55 bcm per year. Nord Stream will be fed with gas from the Unified Gas Supply System.