Nord Stream 2 AG, the Swiss based company behind the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has filed for bankruptcy and fired all its employees.
The company based in the canton of Zug Switzerland, informed the cantonal authorities on Tuesday that the business was unable to continue its operations.
Speaking to state broadcaster SRF, the economic director for the canton of Zug, Silvia Thalmann-Gut stated that the head office for economic affairs and labour was on site today and was informed in detail about the situation.
Financial Times reports that Nord Stream 2 did not immediately respond to inquires, and that the numbers listed for its press spokesperson in Switzerland were disconnected.
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The company has around 106 employees, and according to Thalmann-Gut, the company’s entire local workforce have already formally received termination notices.
Nord Stream 2 AG is a wholly owned subsidiary of Russia’s Gazprom. In a statement to Reuters Gazprom said;
“Following the recent geopolitical developments leading to the imposition of U.S. sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG, the company had to terminate contracts with employees. We very much regret this development.”
Nord Stream 2 is a 1,200km pipeline under the Baltic Sea, which will take gas from the Russian coast near St Petersburg to Lubmin in Germany.
It cost €10bn (£8.4bn) and was completed last September. The Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom put up half of the cost and western energy firms such as Shell and ENGIE of France are paying the rest.
Nord Stream 2 runs parallel to an existing gas pipeline, Nord Stream, which has been working since 2011.
Together, these two pipelines could deliver 110bn cubic metres of gas to Europe every year. That is over a quarter of all the gas that European Union countries use annually.
The pipeline has long been viewed as a Kremlin Influence project that would increase Europe’s energy dependence on Russia, Nord Stream 2 was one of the first targets of the flurry of Western sanctions triggered by Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
- Last Tuesday a day after Russian troops went nto Ukraine for a “peacekeeping” mission, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz suspended the certification of the pipeline.
- The U.S followed up by rescinding sanctions waivers on Nord Stream 2 AG and its corporate officers.
Observers will be watching closely to see what Gazprom (the owners of Nord Stream 2 AG) and Gas for Europe GmbH (a wholly owned German subsidiary of Nord Stream 2 AG founded in January 2022 to become the owner and operator of the 54-kilometre section of the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline located in the German territorial waters and the landfall facility in Lubmin) does next.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur