Gasunie delivers solid results in 2015

Groningen | press release
  • Revenues of € 1,631 million (2014: € 1,651 million)
  • Net result of € 553 million (2014: € 603 million)
  • Proposed dividend payment of € 332 million to the Dutch state (2014: € 362 million)
  • Volume of transported gas declined to 1,179 TWh (2014: 1,233 TWh)
  • Volume of gas converted from high-calorific to low-calorific more than tripled to 16.9 billion m3 (2014: 4.8 billion m3), helping to maintain sufficient gas supply for domestic households and companies after the reduction in the Groningen production
  • Very high level of reliability in gas transport

Gas infrastructure company N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie had a solid financial year in 2015. As expected, revenue declined to € 1,631 million (2014: € 1,651 million). Net profit in 2015 amounted to € 553 million (2014: € 603 million). It is proposed that, of this amount, our shareholder, the Dutch state, will receive a dividend of € 332 million. Operating costs rose by approximately € 87 million. This rise was largely due to higher operating costs. For example, Gasunie added to the provision for shutting down and removing parts of pipelines to make the infrastructure in Groningen more earthquake-proof. In addition, the maintenance costs relating to the multi-year maintenance and replacement programme of Gasunie transport Services (GTS) were higher, as were the construction costs incurred in removing the old Elbe culvert in Germany.

More quality conversion

The total volume of gas transported through the Gasunie network in 2015 fell to 1,179 TWh (2014: 1,233 TWh). Of this, 935 TWh (95.7 billion m3) of gas was transported through the Dutch network (2014: 976 TWh). This decrease was due to the fact that less high-calorific gas (H gas) was exported. The import of H gas has increased as a result of a production limitation on low-calorific gas from the Groningen field (G gas). To compensate for this reduction in production, H gas needs to be converted for use by domestic households and companies. For this purpose, Gasunie blends H gas from small-scale Dutch fields or from abroad with nitrogen. In 2015, the volume of converted gas showed a sharp increase to 16.9 billion m3 (2014: 4.8 billion m3). The Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs has concluded that, in order to be able to meet future demand for G gas, the nitrogen capacity will need to be expanded. Gasunie has therefore started preparing the construction of a new nitrogen installation.

High transport security

In 2015, we achieved a transport security of almost 100%. Transport was interrupted on only one occasion, briefly affecting the gas supply to just one connected party. No interruptions occurred in the German network. Although the number of injuries involving absence from work (Gasunie employees and contractors) fell by approximately 25%, from 11 in 2014 to 8 in 2015, safety remains a matter to which we pay serious attention.
In 2015, 5 incidents of pipeline damage occurred as a result of excavation work, none of them, however, involving the release of gas. The number of safety incidents per million hours worked fell to 3.1 (2014: 5.0). In Germany, no pipeline damage occurred in 2015. The new 64km pipeline between Fockbek and Ellund in Germany was put into operation according to plan in September 2015. The removal of the old culvert and the placement and putting into operation of a new culvert under the River Elbe, one of the busiest shipping routes in north-west Europe, was completed according to plan in April 2015.

Attractive gas trading platform

In 2015, the Dutch gas trading platform Title Transfer Facility (TTF) once more showed strong growth. The traded volume in 2015 increased by 25% to a volume of 16,684 TWh (2014: 13,216 TWh), an all-time record. As a result, the volumes traded on TTF, which is the largest gas trading platform in continental Europe, are approaching those of the British National Balancing Point (NBP), which in 2014 was still twice as large as TTF. The volume traded via TTF was larger than the domestic consumption. The increase on TTF has been caused by increases in both the bilateral Over-The-Counter trade (OTC) and trading via gas exchanges. International traders are increasingly finding their way to the Netherlands. In addition to the growth in traded volume, the maximum number of active TTF traders increased, from 127 to 138. Thanks to the gas roundabout, the gas market in the Netherlands is functioning well, with ample liquidity, resulting in lower gas prices and transparent pricing.

Growing demand for LNG

Europe is becoming increasingly popular as a market for liquid natural gas (LNG) from all over the world. Gate terminal is evolving into a European LNG hub, contributing to the security of supply in north-west Europe. For the fourth year in a row, the throughput of LNG increased. In 2015, the number of unloaded ships increased to 21 (2014: 14). In addition, the number of loadings of large tankers and small-scale tankers increased from 20 in 2014 to 28 in 2015. In 2015, the number of loaded trucks and containers rose sharply to 788 (2014: 174). At the end of March 2015, the construction of a second loading platform for small-scale LNG started. This installation is scheduled to be completed and ready to supply services in mid-2016.

Key figures 2015

In millions of euros 2015 2014
Profit and loss account    
Revenues 1,631 1,651
EBITDA 1,082 1,186
EBIT 786 893
Result after taxation 553 603
Proposed dividend 332 362

Gas contributes to the energy transition

“The gas market is changing radically, partly due to developments relating to the Groningen field,” says Han Fennema, CEO of Gasunie. “Thanks to the highly developed infrastructure, gas can be imported from all over the world. As a result, sufficient gas will remain available for customers and society. The recently published Energy Report has shown that the Dutch government sees a clear role for gas and gas infrastructure in further reducing CO2 emissions. The report indicates that, as the least polluting fossil fuel, gas will continue to play a crucial role for a long time to come. This also keeps the transition to a clean energy supply reliable and affordable. In the coming decades, natural gas will be used increasingly for applications for which no cleaner alternatives are at hand. The volume of natural gas will decline accordingly, with fossil gas being increasingly replaced by renewable gases, such as green gas. At Gasunie, we wish to continue to be actively involved in the development and transport of renewable gases. A good example of this is the Green Deal we signed last Monday with regard to the transport of hydrogen in the province of Zeeland via one of GTS’s gas transport pipelines. We are convinced that we can use the strengths of our gas system to contribute to a cleaner energy supply.”

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