First integrated network development by GTS and Gasunie Deutschland

Groningen, Hannover | press release

Gasunie subsidiaries Gas Transport Services B.V. (GTS, the Dutch national transmission system operator) and Gasunie Deutschland Services GmbH (Gasunie Deutschland, transmission system operator in Northern Germany) will carry out an integrated Open Season procedure to screen market interest for additional transmission capacity in their areas. The results of this process will form the main part of the planning basis for additional network expansion in Northern Germany and the Netherlands.

It is the first time in Europe that a cross-border network development approach will be carried out in this way by a fully unbundled cross-border asset owner. This integrated approach aims to synchronize capacity development on both sides of the border and, as a result, will provide business opportunities for customers. In offering this integral concept of network development to its customers, Gasunie fully recognizes the cross-border nature that characterizes todays natural gas marketing business to a large extent.

The significance of international transport is increasing due to gas market growth and due to the shift from indigenous gas supply to imports from countries outside the EU, such as Norway, Russia and various LNG supply areas. Gasunie Deutschland experiences increasing interest of shippers for transport capacity in its system. Market players consider new gas projects in Northern Germany, ranging from power plants to storages, that all will require access to natural gas transport system. Also, declining indigenous gas production in Northern Germany will have to be substituted, leading to growth in demand for additional entry capacities. In addition, the advanced market opening in Germany leads to competition between gas suppliers, who diversify their portfolio and, consequently, demand more gas transport capacity. A high competitive pressure in the gas infrastructure market is a result of these market trends. Also in the Netherlands the market demand for transport capacity is steadily rising, partly due to increasing demand from power stations, LNG-development and storage connections. A large investment project (over 1 billion euros) for network expansion, which is based on an earlier Open Season, is already ongoing in the Netherlands.

The initial phase of market screening is planned to be launched in the last quarter of 2008 in order to compose an aggregated picture of market demand on the basis of preliminary responses of interested companies at the end of 2008. Firm capacity bookings by shippers are foreseen by autumn 2009. Gasunie aims to synchronise its network expansion with network expansion programmes of neighbouring network operators.

Both GTS and Gasunie Deutschland are full subsidiaries of Gasunie, an independent gas infrastructure company. GTS is the Dutch national Transmission operator. Gasunie Deutschland is at the moment the only independent gas transporter in Germany. The TSO’s work closely together for the management and the operation of their networks and are developing an integrated approach for the further development of the transmission grids on an economic basis. They ensure sufficient transport capacity, balance the grid and create and maintain connections to other grids.

The aim of an Open Season procedure is to ensure that transport network expansion is being realised in accordance with customer demand. In an Open Season, the transmission system operator (TSO) consults market parties to investigate their need for future transmission capacity. The Open Season procedure bundles the needs of individual customers for additional capacity into one efficient investment programme. This also minimizes the impact of environmental planning. Customers enter into contractual obligations to take off the capacity they require in the future. This provides an economical basis for investment. The Open Season method, which has already been carried out in NL successfully several times, provides a broad range of solutions and allows also for tailormade solutions.

Gasunie is a gas infrastructure and gas transmission company with a prominent position in Europe. The total length of its pipeline network in the Netherlands and Germany comes to more than 15,000 kilometers and, with an annual throughput of almost 125 billion cubic meters, it ranks as one of the most extensive high pressure networks in Europe. Gasunie operates and develops the Dutch national gas transmission network and offers transmission services. Since 1 July 2008 Gasunie also owns the network of the former gas transport division of BEB and EMFG in Germany, which is now functioning under the name Gasunie Deutschland. Gasunie also offers other services within the scope of gas infrastructure. Gasunie carries out all these activities in a safe, efficient, profitable and sustainable manner. In doing so it also serves the public interest.

Gas Transport Services BV is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gasunie and the designated national transmission system operator. One of GTS’s key missions is the non-discriminatory provision of gas transmission services. Such services should enhance security of supply and the proper functioning of the gas market.

Gasunie Deutschland is responsible for the management, the operation and the development of a long-distance pipeline grid in Northern Germany. Gasunie Deutschland is committed to operational excellence with regard to safety, reliability, efficiency, customer orientation and sustainability. It ensures adequate transport capacity by expansion of the existing gas transmission system. Its customers are domestic and international gas companies, gas traders, gas producers and large gas consumers. Gasunie Deutschland is an affiliate of N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie with headquarters in Hanover as of 1. July 2008. It is now the first independent gas infrastructure company in Germany. Gasunie Deutschland operates an efficient pipeline network of around 3,100 kilometres. Because of its geographical location in the North of Germany, Gasunie's transport network takes on the function of a turntable in the European natural gas transit system, from North to South and from East to West. In developing its network and services Gasunie Deutschland seeks close dialogue with its customers.

For more information:

More Gasunie…

A list of other Gasunie websites is set out below. These websites contain more information about Gasunie’s various different projects and participating interests. You can use the search function in this website to search the websites below.

Search through Gasunie-websites