GRTgaz extends extra capacity offer at French north-south link
French transmission system operator (TSO) GRTgaz will extend a service offering additional daily capacity at the north-south link that has run since June, and increase the capacity available, the company confirmed to ICIS last week.
Together with storage operator, Storengy, GRTgaz is preparing to launch a winter version of its JTS service after the current trial ends on 31 October.
GRTgaz started offering the service on 10 June to ease congestion at the interconnection point, which regularly leads to wide price spreads between the PEG Sud and PEG Nord markets.
Unused capacity that is shared between the north-south link and the interchange between storage sites and the transport network allows GRTgaz to offer additional capacity to ship gas southwards.
GRTgaz has so far offered 15GWh/day on the north-south link in daily auctions, but from early November, this will rise to 20GWh/day.
The additional north-south link capacity will be auctioned daily between 14:00 and 15:00 local time and capacity allocated to shippers in decreasing order of bid prices. If no capacity is auctioned, the unit price will be equal to the reserve price – a regulated charge of €0.87/MWh/day.
On top of this, 20GWh will be added to the available daily storage withdrawal capacity at the interface between the Sediane storage group and the gas network in the southern zone.
The new offer could be launched around 4-5 November, GRTgaz said.
The TSO added that the Winter JTS service will have no negative impact on the quality of the transport and storage services it offers along with Storengy.
Around the launch of the original JTS service, shippers said they expected a limited impact on market prices because of the small amount of capacity offered ( see ESGM 11 June 2013 ) – 15GWh compared with a technical maximum of 549GWh at the link.
However, this view may be changing now that several months’ worth of data is available, showing that the Sud-Nord premium has been substantially lower year on year.
According to ICIS data, the premium of PEG Sud Day-ahead to the equivalent Nord product averaged €1.63/MWh in the period 1 June-18 October 2013, compared with €2.23/MWh during the same period of 2012.
“Clearly [the JTS service] is part of the situation and the balance in France, so it did help reduce the spread,” one French market source said.
“The feedback from the summer is that the service was quite well used, especially during periods where there was some congestion [on the north-south link],” he added.
However, the source also said that it remained to be seen how the service would function in winter and whether the full capacities would be available throughout the season if temperatures are very low, as this could affect the technical aspects of the service. Emma Slawinski
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