Latest report Transport Insight 2009: gas market urgently needs more transport capacity

The Netherlands, Groningen | press release

The gas transport system in the Netherlands and Northern Germany urgently requires further expansion in response to increased market demand for transport capacity. This is one of the conclusions of "Transport Insight 2009" which was published today by gas infrastructure company Gasunie. This publication contains information as reported by Gasunie's network operating subsidiaries Gas Transport Services B.V. (GTS - the Netherlands) and its German sister company Gasunie Deutschland (GUD).

Transport Insight provides customers and other stakeholders of Gasunie's network operating subsidiaries with an annual behind-the-scenes view of transport operations and market development. The analyses in Transport Insight 2009 show that the utilisation level of the cross-border capacity between both networks is high. This picture is confirmed by the initial results of the Integrated Open Season, which GUD and GTS are currently organising. This is the first Open Season in Europe that is being carried out on the basis of an integrated cross-border approach. The initial results of this Open Season show that the demand for additional capacity in both the Netherlands and Germany is high.

Investments needed
Both network operators are currently in the process of signing contracts for new capacity with customers. The integrated Open Season will provide the basis for a new, economically sound investment programme. These investments, which are expected to be substantial, are necessary for the well-functioning of the liberalised gas market, serving both competition and security of supply. Investments of this kind and size can only be done in an economically sound manner if the regulatory framework enables this. In this respect the recent developments in the national regulation of gas transport in Germany give reason for serious concern.

Demand for storage capacity
Transport Insight 2009 also points out the increasing relevance of underground storage facilities. The decline in domestic flexible gas production combined with a shift to (less flexible) international supply of gas from further afield leads to an increased demand for local flexibility sources. The construction of additional underground storage facilities is needed to provide for this flexibility, needed to cope with fluctuations in demand.

Improvement gas market accessibility
Transport Insight 2009 also notes that in 2008 and 2009 a number of obstacles to the efficient functioning of the gas market were eliminated. Examples are the reform of quality conversion, which enables gas trading in the Netherlands irrespective of its origin as well as the establishment of EUCABO, the European online platform for contracting cross-border transport capacity. These changes have increased the attractiveness of the gas market served by the Gasunie network operators.

'Transport Insight 2009' can be downloaded as a PDF file from the website: www.gastransportservices.nl.
 

Profile of N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie
Gasunie is a European gas infrastructure company. Our network ranks among the largest high pressure gas pipeline grids in Europe, consisting of over 15,000 kilometres of pipeline in the Netherlands and northern Germany, dozens of installations and approximately 1,300 gas receiving stations. Annual gas throughput totals approximately 125 billion cubic metres. We serve the public interest in the markets in which we are active and work to create value for our stakeholders.
Gasunie is the first independent gas transport provider with a cross-border network in Europe. We offer transport services via our subsidiaries Gas Transport Services B.V. (GTS) in the Netherlands and Gasunie Deutschland GmbH in Germany. We also offer other services in the gas infrastructure field, including gas storage and LNG. We consider the wishes of our customers to be of prime importance. We aim for the highest standards in safety, reliability, efficiency and sustainability. Due to its reliability and strategic location in relation to expanding international gas flows, the Gasunie network forms the core of what is called the North West European 'gas roundabout'.

Profile of Gas Transport Services BV (GTS)
Gas Transport Services BV (GTS), a fully-owned subsidiary of Gasunie, is the Transmission System Operator (TSO) of the Dutch gas transport network. One of its main tasks is to manage the transport of natural gas in a non-discriminatory and transparent manner. By performing these tasks, GTS promotes security of supply and the smooth functioning of the gas market.
(www.gastransportservices.nl)

Profile of Gasunie Deutschland (GUD)
Gasunie Deutschland is a 100% Gasunie subsidiary and responsible for the management, the operation and the development of a long-distance pipeline grid in North Germany of around 3,100 kilometres. In total, Gasunie Deutschland employs about 210 employees. Because of its geographical location in the north of Germany, Gasunie Deutschland's transport network is part of the 'gas roundabout' function within the European natural gas transit system. (www.gasunie.de)

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