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Nord Stream 2 ‘in all our interests’ — France’s Engie

7. Nord Stream
An undated photo of incoming pipelines leading to the Bovanenkovo gas field on the Yamal peninsula in the Arctic Circle. (File photo: AFP)
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PARIS — GFrench energy giant Engie warned Tuesday that a conflict between Russia and Ukraine would be “bad news” for Europe’s gas supplies and defended the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline as being “in all our interests”.اضافة اعلان

Engie is one of five European partners in the massive Russian pipeline running under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.

The pipeline, which has been completed but is still awaiting regulatory approval in Germany, has become a key bargaining chip in the West’s bid to stop Russia from invading Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden has threatened to shut it down if Russia attacks its neighbor but Germany has maintained a more ambiguous stance, saying only there would be “consequences” for Nord Stream 2.

At a press conference after Engie released its annual earnings the group’s CEO Catherine MacGregor stressed the importance of Russian gas for Europe.

“Russian gas is a major component in the European gas mix. Therefore we view a potential conflict between Russia and Ukraine as really bad news,” she said.

MacGregor said that France’s gas stocks meant it could face “very short-term” shortages.

But, she said, “in the medium- or long-term we need Russian gas” to build up gas stocks again.

She said the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which circumvents Ukraine and is set to double Russian gas supplies to Germany, was “an important project for Europe’s gas supplies.

“It’s in all our interests ... that this project be completed,” she said.

Her remarks came as Engie announced a return to profit last year, buoyed by soaring energy prices.

The firm posted a net profit of 3.7 billion euros after a loss of 1.5 billion euros in 2020, when the emergence of the COVID pandemic roiled the global economy and energy prices.

The world’s biggest energy firms have posted huge profits for 2021, when oil and gas prices surged due to geopolitical tensions and growing demand after countries emerged from COVID lockdowns.

Engie said its future growth would be “mainly driven” by its investment in renewable energies as well as higher results from its Energy Solutions unit, which provides support to cities and industries transitioning to carbon neutrality.

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