Austrian EconGas to join Zeebrugge and TTF hubs as trading member
Austria’s EconGas will start trading activities on the Belgian Zeebrugge hub as of 1st March, and on the Dutch TTF hub on 1st April, a spokesman for the group confirmed on Wednesday.
The move is part of the group’s plans to develop international activity, particularly in North-western Europe, as EconGas’s business has been focused on the Central European Gas Hub based in Baumgarten in Austria. The spokesman added on Wednesday that the group was interested in other major hubs such as the NBP and French PEGs.
The Austrian commercial and business gas supplier started trading on the Italian PSV market in October 2006, and will be active on the south zone of the E.ON Ruhrgas’ three high-cal markets as of 1st April. In an interview to Heren Energy in October, Stephan Ressl, head of business development, said the Ruhrgas choice market was not a priority for the company, compared with other more liquids hubs (ESGM 12.207).
At Zeebrugge and the TTF, EconGas will be trading all prompt and curve contracts and will assess the result after one year, the spokesman said. “Then we may focus on particular contracts, but this depends heavily on prices and different products,” he concluded.
Econgas posted a net profit for its 2005/6 financial year (1st April 2005 to 31st March 2006) of EUR 72.8 million, double the previous year’s figure of EUR 36.9 million. Econgas attributed its positive results to the long and cold winter last year, as well as strong growth abroad, which accounted for 62% of its year-on-year growth in turnover.
Recently, Econgas extended its gas supply contracts with Russia’s Gazprom Export until 2027. The existing contracts, which would have expired in 2012, already guarantee Austria a total volume of around 7 Gm³ in gas imports per year (see ESGM 12.189).
The new deals signed at the end of September 2006 will continue to provide Austria with supplies totalling 7 Gm³ per year, until 2027.FS
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