Amendment Gas Act

As from 1 April 2011 several significant provisions of the Act "Wijziging van de Gaswet en de Elektriciteitswet 1998, tot versterking van de werking van de gasmarkt, verbetering van de voorzieningszekerheid en houdende regels met betrekking tot de voorrang voor duurzame elektriciteit, alsmede enkele andere wijzigingen van deze wetten1" will come into force. These provisions intend to improve the functioning of the Dutch gas market.

  1. Improvement of the functioning of the gas market

    In order to improve the functioning of the gas market, the Gas Act is amended as follows: a) Integration of gas quality In the past, market parties were obliged to tender for conversion capacity as provided by the grid operator of the national gas transmission grid ("GTS")2, as a result of which this conversion capacity was fully booked in advance. In practice it turned out that the capacity booked was not always used, while the unused capacity did not become available for other parties. This caused a barrier for market parties with high-calorific gas ("H-gas"), because it was not possible, in the short term, to become active at the market for low-calorific gas ("L-gas"). Moreover, there were costs entailed to (reversed) quality conversion. Therefore GTS will have the obligation to offer quality conversion and reverse quality conversion without advance booking. The costs of quality conversion will be incorporated in the transmission tariffs. This results in an overall integration of the H-gas- and L-gas market which will lead to a more liquid gas market, where the quality of gas should not have any influence at the tradability of the gas. b) Balancing regime To ensure that gas will be transported in a safely manner through the grid, the entry to and the exit of gas at the gas transmission grid have to be balanced. At this moment the gas transmission grid is regulated by the Groningenfield (Groningenveld), causing the balancing of the Dutch grid to be strongly dependent on this field. The Act introduces a market based balancing regime. The new balancing regime assumes programme responsibility as is also applied in the electricity sector, provided that a distinction will be made between the programme of the gas entry party and the programme of the gas exit party. Programme responsibility means that supply and off-take takes place in accordance with expected programmes of use which are compiled for a particular time unit. A programme responsible party has to provide...

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