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E-Control to consult on changes to Austria’s new natural gas market regime

27 Feb 2013 17:04:14 | esgm

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Austrian natural gas regulator E-Control will soon start a consultation on proposals to improve the country's new gas market system, including the postponed Day-ahead use-it-or-lose-it regime, the head of E-Control's gas department, told ICIS on Wednesday.

Austria has already postponed the Day-ahead use-it-or-lose-it system once. It was supposed to introduce the regime on 1 January, when the rest of the new market model came into effect, but put it back to 1 April.

But Bernhard Painz said the April deadline will probably be pushed to 1 October because of IT problems at market area manger Gas Connect Austria. However, he added: "I don't believe that this [regime] will be very necessary during the summer months anyway."

Austrian transport capacity will have to be offered via the European capacity trading platform PRISMA from 1 April.

The use-it-or-lose-it regime is part of a series of first improvements and slight changes to the new gas market system, Painz said.

The relevant document will soon be put up for market consultation so the new mechanisms - which are likely to exclude the Day-ahead change - can come into force from 1 April.

Painz did not comment on the details of the possible amendments to the law but said no major changes are planned. "These are just some things that could have been made clearer or simpler in the first set of new gas market rules", he explained.

E-Control has also issued a new decree on market data, which will come into force on 1 March, two months after the start of the new market system.

The decree is supposed to facilitate the regulator's access to all kinds of market data and thereby give it a better insight into the state of competition. "This will also help us to constantly come up with new propositions for the improvement of the gas market system," Painz said.

Under the new market, Austria's formerly physical gas hub, Baumgarten, became a virtual trading point on 1 January (see ESGM 2 January 2013). Maria Haensch

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