Greek DESFA to use gas capacity platform from October

15 September 2016 11:21 Source:ICIS
The Acropolis in Athens

Shippers active on the Greek natural gas market should be able to book import capacity on the Bulgarian border through the RBP platform from the start of next month. The move comes as the country implements the EU’s capacity allocation mechanism (CAM) network code.

A source at grid operator DESFA confirmed on Thursday the company was aiming to offer unbundled entry capacity at the Sidirokastro point through the auctioning portal from 1 October, or shortly after.

The EU had a target date of 1 October 2015 for the introduction of CAM, although a number of states have had exemptions in place to get the mechanism included with their own grid codes. CAM necessitates the use of a pan-European auction platform at common borders.

RBP is one of three platforms which operate across the continent, and has a key presence in southern and eastern Europe.

The DESFA source said Greece should be aligned with CAM in the next month, in all areas with the exception of within-day nominations.

Bulgarian grid operator Bulgartransgaz has already signed up to RBP, although has yet to run any auctions through it. It has said it will offer unbundled exit capacity at Sidirokastro through the portal.

The DESFA source indicated it may be able to offer more entry capacity at the point than its Bulgarian peer is able to offer exit capacity, as expiring shipper contracts over the point were of varying amounts. Shippers should be able to make use of all the capacity, through the booking of interruptible capacity, however.

Greece only has two border crossings on its gas network. Besides Sidirokastro, there is also the Kipi point with Turkey. As a non-EU state, however, CAM does not cover this border. There is also no new capacity to offer to the market at this location.

The Greek operator is hosting a stakeholder workshop later this month to showcase use of the RBP. A new daily capacity booking and allocation system is also being introduced at the same time, for domestic gas shipping.

By Tom Marzec-Manser