Croatia/Slovenia market coupling not expected until Q4 2017

Sophie Udubasceanu


The Croatia day-ahead market coupling project with Slovenia is not likely to happen until the fourth quarter of 2017, later than initial expectations it would be live by the second half of 2016, ICIS can reveal.

The news could also postpone a potential increase in Croatian prices. This is because some market participants believe that coupling with the Slovenian power exchange would pull day-ahead exchange prices above Hungarian prices. Hungary has the most established exchange in the region.

The linking of the Croatian power exchange CROPEX with the Slovenian exchange Southpool was expected to happen in the second half of this year, even though there was never a set go-live date.

Speaking with ICIS on Tuesday afternoon, CROPEX’s director Silvio Brkic expected the coupling between Croatia and Slovenia to be finalised by the fourth quarter of 2017 but said it could happen earlier. Work on the project is expected to start after the summer once Slovenia finalises the current coupling project with Austria, he explained.

A spokeswoman for Southpool said after the summer the two parties will agree a roadmap of the project. “When the roadmap is finalised, we will know when the go-live date is,” she added.

Brkic said that CROPEX would be coupling with its Slovenian counterpart through the Italian Borders Working Table (IBWT) project.

He said there were no big obstacles from a technical point of view because the Croatian day-ahead market is already operating in line with Multi-Regional Coupling (MRC) regulations. Croatia is not yet a full member of the MRC.

“We will have to respect our neighbours and the only way to do it [the coupling] is through the IBWT project where Slovenia and Italy are both members,” he said.

Croatia has applied to join the IBWT project, Brkic confirmed. “That’s something that brings a certain delay, [of around] one year,” he added.

It is still unclear if the new timeframe will materialise. In fact a source at Southpool said that given the experience with similar market coupling projects the go-live date will be somewhere in 2018.

Some market participants expect coupling between the two markets would push Croatian prices higher because of the link with the more expensive Italian market.

Italy’s exchange price usually carries at a premium to Hungary’s HUPX. A closer link with the Italian market could therefore push CROPEX to a premium over HUPX, potentially creating more arbitrage opportunities with the Hungarian market.


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