Central Europe Pipeline Management Organization (CEPMO) (Archived)
The Central Europe Pipeline Management Organization – or CEPMO - was the organisation that managed NATO’s Central Europe Pipeline System (CEPS). On 1 July 2012, the NATO Support Organisation – now known as the NATO Support and Procurement Organisation – was established assuming the functions and responsibilities of CEPMO.
The CEPS is the largest element of the NATO Pipeline System (NPS). Its principal purpose is to meet operational requirements in Central Europe in times of peace, crisis and conflict. This means that CEPMO’s priority was to ensure that, when needed, military missions conducted in Central Europe or using European airbases as an intermediate hub, were guaranteed fuel that met the required technical specifications at all times.
Once military requirements in peacetime had been satisfied, any remaining capacity could be used for commercial purposes, under strict safeguards, to help reduce costs.
CEPMO was one of the NATO Production, Logistics or Service Organizations (NPLSO). These are subsidiary bodies that are granted organizational, administrative and financial independence by the North Atlantic Council (NAC). CEPMO was composed of the following two elements:
- the CEPMO Board of Directors (BoD), which was the governing body of CEPMO; and
- the Central Europe Pipeline Management Agency (CEPMA), which was the executive arm of CEPMO, responsible for the day-to-day management of the CEPS.
In sum, CEPMO consisted of the CEPMO BoD and CEPMA, and was not an entity as such with a postal address and permanent staff. Participating countries were: Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United States.
CEPMO’s prime responsibility was to satisfy operational requirements during peace, crisis and war by the movement, storage and delivery of on-specification fuel in Central Europe. After military requirements had been satisfied, any remaining capacity could be used for commercial purposes.
Its main responsibilities were therefore to:
- plan, coordinate and execute the delivery of its services to its clients;
- ensure the integrity of the pipeline system;
- ensure that on-specification fuel was delivered to its customers (quality control);
- develop and implement appropriate policies to ensure the safe, efficient and legally compliant operations of the pipeline; and
- coordinate marketing activities, including the negotiation of appropriate tariff rates with non-military clients.
CEPMO took into account the political, economic, financial, legal, technological, and environmental factors to perform its various activities.
The structure and responsibilities of CEPMO were defined in the CEPMO Charter endorsed by the NAC. Its responsibilities were assessed in line with these NAC-endorsed directives and in collaboration with the other NATO bodies involved.
CEPMO was composed of the two following entities:
A Board of Directors known as the NATO CEPMO BoD
It acted as the governing body of CEPMO and was composed of delegates from all participating countries. These national representatives represented their country’s political, military, economic, financial and technical interests. They were the only voting members of the Board and each country had one vote. To assist in the execution of its work, the Board had the authority to establish other subordinate bodies.
The Board of Directors met three times a year in accordance with the CEPMO Charter. It established general policy, objectives, missions, and approved financial resources for the CEPS.
The Central Europe Pipeline Management Agency (CEPMA)
CEPMA was the executive managing agency responsible for the daily operation of the CEPS. It was located in Versailles, France. On 1 July 2012, the NATO Support Agency – now known as the NATO Support and Procurement Agency – was established assuming the functions and responsibilities of CEPMA.
When the CEPS was created more than 50 years ago, there were two governing bodies: the Central Europe Pipeline Office (CEPO) and the Central Europe Pipeline Policy Committee (CEPPC). The former was responsible for all decisions related to the operation of the network and the latter for the general policy and finances. The first meeting of the CEPPC took place on 15 December 1956.
Several decades later, in 1997, the North Atlantic Council endorsed the then new CEPMO Charter, which defined the structure and responsibilities of the CEPS.
On 1 July 2012, the NATO Support Organisation was established merging the former NATO Maintenance and Supply Organisation (NAMSO), the former NATO Airlift Management Organisation (NAMO) and the former Central Europe Pipeline Management Organization (CEPMO). In April 2015, the NATO Support Organisation became the NATO Support and Procurement Organisation (NSPO).