UK gas suppliers set up EU bases in case of no-deal Brexit

Source: Heren

2019/04/10

LONDON (ICIS)--Several UK-based companies have listed entities in EU countries to continue supplying natural gas to France in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

On 1 April the most-recent list of companies registered to trade in the GRTgaz-operated network showed new sign ups including EDF Trading Markets Ireland, Macquarie Products Ireland and Total Gas & Power Belgium.

These recently incorporated entities are understood to be acting as balancing agents for UK-based parent companies, a move to avert any supply issue to the French market in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

According to French energy law, only companies based in the EU are authorised to supply gas in France.

The supplier contract enables companies to physically exchange gas at the PEG balancing point, import volumes and deliver from LNG terminals to the grid.

The gas trading desks of majors such as Total are located in London and it is this part of the business that holds the company’s supply rights.

Listing new companies in EU countries forms part of contingency plans drawn up by UK-based shippers and French authorities to mitigate the risk of supply distruptions.

A spokesperson from Macquarie told ICIS: “We are well advanced with our contingency planning and are working to ensure we can continue to provide uninterrupted services to our clients impacted by EU 27 market access restrictions and to operate in physical European markets.

“Macquarie Products Ireland Limited has obtained a French gas shipper licence to ensure that we can continue to ship gas in the French market post Brexit as part of our contingency planning.”

A spokesperson for EDF declined to comment.