Three countries to launch secondary natural gas capacity trading on PRISMA from January

13 December 2013 14:47 Source:ICIS

The Italian, Austrian and German natural gas transmission system operators (TSOs) will be the first companies to start offering secondary capacity trading on PRISMA from 2 January 2014, the platform’s marketing manager Katja Beckert told ICIS on Friday.

She added that the next TSO to join the secondary service after Italy’s Snam Rete, the many German grid operators and the three Austrian TSOs GCA, BOG and TAG, will be Dutch Gasunie Transport Services on 28 January. Belgium’s Fluxys and France’s GRTgaz are scheduled to start offering secondary capacity trading through the platform from April. Only the Danish TSO will not join for now, as it still operates its own secondary platform.

From January, Europe’s current capacity trading platform named PRISMA primary will incorporate several new secondary capacity functions and will be renamed just PRISMA. The current PRISMA secondary platform (which is only being used by the German TSOs) will close from 21 December ( see ESGM 12 December 2013 ).

“The TSOs are extremely busy at the moment testing their systems. For some it takes longer than for others, that’s why not all of them are starting right away. But the majority will start secondary trading in January,” Beckert said.

For PRISMA’s new stakeholders British National Grid, Northern Irish Premier Transmission and French TIGF as well as the new partner Irish Gaslink, the start date for secondary trading remains unclear, as they yet have to set up primary trading.

As opposed to PRISMA’s primary trading, the secondary capacity will not be sold in auctions. “For secondary capacity trading, there are no rules from the EU. So we have analysed the different secondary trading systems in different markets and finally decided against an auctioning mechanism. We believe that the way we set it up is more suitable to the market’s needs,” Beckert said.

The first option to either request or offer secondary capacity on PRISMA will be through an open call-for-order (CFO), which any shipper registered on the platform can respond to. The initiator of the CFO can than freely decide which counterparty he chooses to do business with.

The second option will be to enter a first-come-first-serve (FCFS) entry on the platform, offering or requesting capacity at a fixed price.

And as a third option, participants can agree on a deal over-the-counter (OTC) and then just register the transaction on the platform. As opposed to the anonymous CFO and FCFS mechanisms, the two parties of on OTC-deal know each other and negotiate the price and the conditions of the trade offline.

Shippers who are registered on the current PRISMA primary platform do not have to register again to participate in the secondary trading service. Primary trading on the platform currently covering Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands started in April this year. Johanna Blackader

By Johanna Blackader