Six CEE countries, Energy Community sign landmark MoU for regional gas market integration

Author: Aura Sabadus

2021/07/21

LONDON (ICIS)--Energy exchanges and gas transmission system operators in six central and eastern European countries have signed a landmark memorandum of understanding, paving the way to regional gas market integration and unhindered cross-border trading in line with EU best practices.

The MoU signed on 21 July is the outcome of the SEEGAS initiative , a project spearheaded by the Energy Community Secretariat, which aims to bring together exchanges and transmission system operators in central and eastern Europe.

The goals of the initiative is to:

- develop cross-border trading;

- introduce transparent, competitive and non-discriminatory interregional market-based pricing mechanisms;

- set up efficient cross-border gas transmission and interoperability;

- facilitate the implementation of an effective commodity clearing system for natural gas trades in line with European best practices.

Signatories include the Energy Community Secretariat, energy exchanges or trading service providers BRM (Romania), UEEX (Ukraine), TGE (Poland), CEEGEX (Hungary), ECG (Austria) as well as gas transmission system operators Moldovatransgaz, GTSO (Ukraine), FGSZ (Hungary) and GAZ-System (Poland).

“Since its establishment, the Energy Community has supported the integration of its Contracting Parties with the EU energy markets, which for Ukraine and Moldova is now gradually becoming a reality,” said Janez Kopac, director of the Energy Community Secretariat,

“The signing of the SEEGAS Memorandum of Understanding is a joint effort of core movers in the region towards further integration of exchange-traded markets for natural gas.”

The CEOs of signatory parties echoed Kopac’s views, pointing out the initiative was an encouraging signal of regional interest and commitment to developing reliable price signals, transparency and liquidity.

The Energy Community, an international organisation designed to extend the EU’s internal energy market to neighbouring states, has been very active in helping contracting parties such as Ukraine and Moldova implement EU regulations and providing guidance for the establishment of markets.

The SEEGAS initiative reflects the founding objectives of the Energy Community and, since its launch at the end of last year, has received widespread support from energy stakeholders, including ICIS.

Although the 21 July MoU was signed by exchanges and some transmission system operators in six central and eastern European countries, it is open to other regional parties interested in joining at a later stage.

Earlier in June, the Hellenic Energy Exchange Group (EnEx Group), Poland’s Power Exchange (TGE) and the Romanian Commodities Exchange (BRM) signed a MoU , outlining their interest in integrating their platforms to allow companies in these countries to trade on any of the three platforms.