Hannover, Münster, Oldenburg, 30 March 2009 | Press release
As of 1 April 2009, Erdgas Münster Transport GmbH & Co. KG, EWE NETZ GmbH and Gasunie Deutschland Transport Services GmbH will start operating the joint market area "L-Gas 1". The partners have entered into a voluntary agreement to combine their independent low-cal gas market areas "EGMT", "Verbundnetz Ems/Weser/Elbe" and "L-Gas Northern Germany" into a joint market area.
Intense talks have been held in recent weeks with the German Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) to create a regulatory framework which makes the cooperation both technically and commercially viable for the three partners. It should be emphasised that the scheme is also open to other partners.
One of the aims of combining the market areas is to increase liquidity at the virtual trading point and thereby stimulate competition. The partners are aware that in addition to serving national interests by boosting liquidity and competition between gas suppliers, the cooperation is also relevant at a European level.
Throughout the market area "L-Gas 1", entry and exit capacities can be allocated freely and included into area-wide balancing groups without restrictions. To manage the joint market area, the partners have established a company in which each of them holds an equal stake – Aequamus GmbH based in Bremen.
The Managing Director is Peter Schmidt. The partners have commissioned Aequamus with fulfilling the role of balancing group network operator for the joint market area "L-Gas 1". This includes operational data management, concluding and processing balancing group contracts, marketing the new market area's virtual point and procuring balancing and compensation energy.
As before, the cooperation partners remain responsible for concluding contracts for transportation for entry and exit points, processing nominations at these points and controlling and operating the networks. This means they remain independent of one another and will continue competing with one another to market their networks' entry and exit capacities. To make it easier for shippers to book capacity, the cooperation partners have been offering their capacities on a shared internet platform, www.marktgebiete.com, since April 2008.
The joint low-cal gas market area stretches from the North Sea coast to the Harz Mountains and from the Dutch border to Wolfsburg. More than 70 adjecent supply networks – most of them operated by local utilities – belong to the joint low-cal gas market area.