Finnish government to reform natural gas regulations

Gasum of Finland said the country’s government released its proposal for the new Natural Gas Market act to open up the natural gas wholesale and retail markets for competition in 2020. 

The new Natural Gas Market Act that would come into force after the completion of the Balticconnector pipeline between Finland and Estonia will result in reduced regulation of natural gas wholesale and retail operations and, to a large extent, abolish special regulation concerning pricing.

Gasum said that, according to the proposal, Finland will waive its right to derogate from some of the requirements of the EU’s Internal Market in Natural Gas Directive.

“This will result in the unbundling of the Gasum-owned gas transmission network and gas sales,” the statement reads.

The Balticconnector will connect the Finnish and Estonian markets but will not provide a connection to the European gas network and alternative source of gas without further investments in Poland and the Baltics.

“It is important to ensure that progress will be made in these investments and that the investments will not generate extra costs for Finnish gas users,” Gasum said.

The new Act is aimed to enter into force on January 1, 2018. The provisions concerning the unbundling of the transmission system operator and the opening up of the natural gas market to competition are to enter into force on January 1, 2020.

Gasum CEO Johanna Lamminen added that it is imperative to ensure Finnish gas users’ access to competitive fuel in the future too and creating the conditions required for the sustained development of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biogas markets.

She called for the government to implement the legislative reform without jeopardizing the competitiveness of natural gas.

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