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On the way to the nationwide gas market area

With the new common nationwide market area one of the most attractive and most liquid gas trading platforms in Europe will arise – suppliers, end-customers, network operators and balancing group managers will benefit. The German gas transmission system operators (TSOs) and the two market area managers GASPOOL Balancing Services (GASPOOL) and NetConnect Germany (NCG) are working intensively on the design of this new market area. With the merger of the two German market areas currently planned to take effect on 1 October 2021, the successful market area consolidation process in Germany has reached its final stage. Thanks to its location in the middle of North-Western Europe, the single German market area can be the central starting point for the further cross-border integration of individual European gas markets.

We have set up this website to share information about current developments as we move closer to the single German market area’s launch. The aim of this web presence is to provide a central information platform and to initiate a steady market dialogue process to support the developments over the next years until the new market area is successfully implemented.

If you have any questions concerning the market area merger, please send an email to info@marktgebietszusammenlegung.de. We are looking forward to your suggestions.

Two become one

To form a common market area out of two – this is an extremely exciting task that also poses a series of complex challenges. We are going to do what we can to ensure that the future process framework reflects the needs of the customers as much as possible so that the new market area can make a sustainable contribution to the security of the gas supply in Germany as well as in Europe. A significantly simplified network access regime operating on the basis of an efficient capacity model is a prerequisite for an attractive and liquid market in the heart of Europe. GASPOOL and NCG as well as their respective shareholders have a rough decade of experience as market area managers. Contributing this experience in shaping the new, single German market area is our aspiration. By doing so, we are going to create an added value for the market so that all market participants –suppliers and end customers, network operators and balancing group managers – will benefit from the single German market area.

The new market area manager as a service provider will stand for a high level of service quality, reliable data as well as smooth processes. Customer-oriented products are going to be developed and all accounted tasks will be realized successfully through the market area manager.

Presumably starting  1. October 2021 there will be only one market area in Germany.

Quelle: FNB Gas

Benefits for market participants

In the future, balancing group managers operating in Germany will only have a single counterparty for their balancing group contracts, regardless of which networks they use to transport gas within the national borders. This will simplify network access and make it easier to trade gas nationally. Suppliers will have direct access to all end customers and previously separate networks will form a single entry/exit and balancing zone.

Where we come from

Currently GASPOOL and NCG ensure the operational handling of the market area cooperations. With the merger project which has its background in legislative amendments to the German Gas Third-Party Access Regulations (Gasnetzzugangsverordnung) adopted in 2017, according to which the two market areas are to be consolidated into a single entry/exit zone by 1 April 2022 at the latest, the starting signal for a new chapter in the German gas market is given.

The two existing market areas GASPOOL and NCG have developed dynamically over the past years. Today they provide two of the most liquid trading hubs – especially in the spot market segment – for gas in Europe, which is reflected in the trading activities at the respective virtual trading points, steadily growing trading volumes and increasing churn rates, which are a measure of trading point liquidity. The prompt and forward markets have also been developing positively.

The GASPOOL market area is a joint venture encompassing the transmission networks of GASCADE Gastransport GmbH, Gastransport Nord GmbH, Gasunie Deutschland Transport Services GmbH, Nowega GmbH und ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH. Open Grid Europe GmbH, Fluxys Deutschland GmbH, Lubmin-Brandov Gastransport GmbH, NEL Gastransport GmbH and OPAL Gastransport GmbH & Co. KG are also involved on an operational level.

The NCG market area is a cooperation initiative of the TSOs bayernets GmbH, Fluxys TENP GmbH, GRTgaz Deutschland GmbH, Open Grid Europe GmbH, terranets bw GmbH and Thyssengas GmbH.

Overall, the two market areas connect 15 transmission networks and approximately 750 distribution networks.

Based in: Berlin
Employees: 52
Year established: 2009
Network operators: approx. 350
Balancing group managers: approx. 420

Based in: Ratingen
Employees: 55
Year established: 2008
Network operators: approx. 480
Balancing group managers: approx. 450

The main business activities of the market area managers involve the management of balancing groups and system balancing activities, the provision and operation of the market area’s virtual trading point, and the provision of a wide range of data, including settlement and balancing information.

Provision and operation of a virtual trading point Enabling the exchange of gas quantities between national and international market participants within the market area
Balancing group management Administration and settlement of the balancing groups registered by balancing group managers active in the market area
System balancing activities Procurement of gas and services for balancing purposes to ensure network stability
Information provision Provision of market information and individual data for network operators and balancing group managers