Questions and Answers
Questions in the context of the KOMBI consultation
From the point of view of the German TSOs, the costs of the instruments have to be recognized as permanently non influenceable costs (dnbK). The German TSOs will come to this on an own written statement.
In the planned test phase, the German TSOs will offer firm entry capacities, even if BNetzA initially only considers the costs of any instruments as volatile. The costs of the instruments are shared to an agreed key between the TSOs.
There is a common overbooking concept that is the subject of the definition of the KAP+ procedure. The amount of overbooking capacity which will be offered by the TSOs, will be the responsibility of the individual companies.
General Questions & Answers concerning the market area merger
The joint nationwide market area to be established in Germany will presumbly start operations on 1 October 2021. This is the date the German TSO have agreed with the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), the national regulatory authority. The TSOs believe that the planned timing is the most convenient solution for market participants, as it coincides with the start of the gas year and is therefore in alignment with the timescales of all products and processes related to the gas year.
All market participants can actively accompany the development on the way to the German market area. In order to keep up-to-date, transmission system operators and market area managers have launched the "Market Dialogue" series of events. These take place at least twice a year. Currently due to the Corona pandemic as a live-stream. The next market dialogue will be livestreamed on 10 February 2021. An invitation to this event will be sent to all market participants by e-mail in adequate time before the event.
Following the amendments to the German Gas Third-Party Access Regulations, the German transmission system operators have entered into intensive cooperation and have set up a joint project. The aim is to bring together the two existing market areas as well as the market area managers GASPOOL and NCG. We are confident that the all-German trading area Trading Hub Europe will become one of the most liquid and attractive trading venues for gas in Europe from 2021 on. After intensive exchanges with international market participants, we expect liquidity in the Trading Hub Europe market area to increase significantly, also compared to other strong European gas hubs.
For the new market area manager THE, the transmission system operators and market area managers have developed a new organisation of construction and operations. A decision has also been taken on the future corporate law design of the new market area manager, and the Company (GmbH) Trading Hub Europe will start on 1 July 2021. In various working groups, more than 150 project members deal with various topics: The selection of the required IT systems, the merging of large amounts of data as well as the development of a new capacity model are major organizational and operational challenges, some of which have already been implemented and presented to the market at the "market dialogue". In addition, GASPOOL and NCG must continue to carry out their business continuity activities reliably until the new market area manager is launched.
Yes, the new market area will encompass the networks for both types of gas currently used in Germany. The market area manager will carry out balancing for highcalorific as well as low-calorific gas, both of which market participants will be able to trade and have converted.
Market participants will be informed in time about the fees and charges of the market area manager as usual. Until the merger takes effect all fees and charges will continue to be determined separately. The final fees and charges to be applied in the new market area will be determined in the summer of 2021.
The new market area manager will be named Trading Hub Europe, which was announced on 13 September 2019.
The network operators in the two current market areas use different approaches to determine the available transportation capacity to account for the existing operational and topological network conditions in each market area. These different approaches must be harmonised as part of the market area merger process in order to ensure that the maximum amount of transportation capacity can be made available.
The aim is to retain the capacity available today to the extent possible, both in terms of the actual amount of capacity available as well as the type of capacity product offered. Given that the new market area will be significantly larger, the network operators do not currently expect to be able to ensure this without additional investments or without taking other commercial measures. Given the current regulatory and permitting timescales, it is unlikely that significant investments can be carried out within the timeframe available, which is why the network operators are examining in close cooperation with the Federal Network Agency what other commercial measures could be taken to maintain today’s capacity level both quantitatively and qualitatively and how this could be achieved. In this process it must be ensured that additional costs remain as low as possible and a negative regulatory impact on the network operators involved can be ruled out.
Following the merger of the two market areas, only one joint VTP will then be operated. In terms of the trading transactions to be handled here, however, it will be comparable with the current VTP. It is therefore up to the contractual handling of the market participants to ensure that fulfilment of the trading transactions is also guaranteed after the market area merger. This depends – as is already the case today – on various factors, such as the portfolio structure. The price, as also on the old VTP, will be a stock market product and cannot be predicted.