German bilateral power and gas trading platform gaining ground

10 August 2017 17:30 Source:ICIS

German bilateral power and gas trading platform enmacc, launched at the end of 2016, is being used by 120 companies according to chief executive Jens Hartmann.

Bilateral trading is typically done by phone, email and instant messenger chats with counterparties. It is more time consuming than trading via brokers and exchanges.

But a number of web platforms intended to enable more bilateral trade have emerged in recent years.

While not yet challenging the established broker model in terms of volume of trades, such platforms have gained ground. This is in part because of more demand from power traders for non-standard energy products as the generation landscape becomes less predictable and more fragmented, while competition over costs has also allowed less established platforms to make some inroads if they can keep operating costs down relative to their larger peers.

The enmacc platform has gained considerable ground in its home market, Germany. Clients include Swedish energy giant Vattenfall and German regional utilities such as EWE and Stadtwerke Karlsruhe.

The company offers what it calls a semi-automated communication platform accessed via web browsers that enables companies to send their bids and offers to selected counterparties. Users can also submit tender requests to conclude a trade at the best price available or ask for indications of a current market price from counterparties.

Enmacc offers analytical tools that enable clients to evaluate their transactions history. A market sentiment forecast was launched on the platform this week and further additional features are planned.

Costs

Users mostly trade German and Austrian power and gas, particularly long-term products, Hartmann told ICIS.

Some use the platform because they consider it too expensive to sign up with brokers or exchanges and others to trade non-standard products, which are not generally available via more traditional, established venues. Enmacc charges €2.50/GWh for power trading.

The platform has had 500-700 German power and gas trades a month recently, although activity is slower now during the summer holiday season.

About half of the trades made via enmacc are for power and the rest for gas. The share of standard and non-standard traded products is about equal.

The share of standard and short-term products has increased recently.

The company is considering expanding beyond Germany, with the UK, Benelux region and Italy possible new markets. laura.raus@icis.com

By Laura Raus