Netherlands now largest gas trading hub on the European continentGroningen, The Netherlands | press release
Gas traders and suppliers in Europe increasingly use the Dutch gas trading platform TTF (Title Transfer Facility) to trade their gas. The TTF, operated by Gas Transport Services B.V. (GTS), experienced substantial growth in 2008. Market parties supplied 20.3 billion m3 of natural gas via the TTF. This is more than double the figure for the previous year (8 billion m3). This quantity equates to almost half of the total domestic gas consumption in the Netherlands. The quantity of gas traded doubled to around 64 billion m3 representing a value of around 15 billion euros. The number of active traders on the TTF grew by 20 percent to a total of 60. The TTF has now outstripped the other gas hubs on the European continent both in terms of physically supplied volume and trading volume. The growth figures show that the Netherlands are developing excellently as a European trading point and that the country is becoming more and more attractive to gas traders and suppliers.
Structural growth due to development of services
The TTF has experienced structural growth ever since it was established in 2003. GTS (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gasunie) contributes to the development of the gas market through continuously improving its transmission services that are offered to the customer. Improvements are also planned for 2009. For example, GTS has made preparations for offering quality conversion as a freely available service that does not have to be contracted separately. This means that the H-gas market and the L-gas market become one large single market for customers. According to expectations, this will come into operation from mid-2009. Preparations are also being made for a radical reform of the balancing regime. Customers are actively involved in the creation of the new model. GTS also supports the gas exchange APX Gas NL (established on the TTF), where traders can conclude within-day and day-ahead contracts anonymously.
Cross-border provision of services
Along with the increase of cross-border gas flows, the development of cross-border services is also becoming more important for customers of the large gas transmission networks on both sides of the border. GTS and Gasunie Deutschland are working together on the new booking platform EUCABO, which responds to the demand of market parties for easy access to cross-border transmission capacity. This service, which allows customers to take advantage of price differences on both sides of the border, was well used in 2008. In addition to customer oriented services, it is also of great importance for smooth market functioning to have a proper infrastructure – pipelines, installations, storage facilities - available in time. In realising this, it is important to maintain a international focus, also given the competitive nature of the European transmission market. With this in mind, Gasunie subsidiaries GTS and Gasunie Deutschland are working together on an integrated “open season” (inventory of future transmission capacity requirements) and, where necessary, also on coordinated plans for network expansions in North Germany and the Netherlands.
Providing superior services to promote trading opportunities on the TTF and the timely availability of sufficient transmission infrastructure form the pillars under the ‘Gas Roundabout’ providing security of supply and a competitive market in this part of Europe.
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