Fluxys and CREG Examine New Approach to Transmission Services Starting in Late 2012 (Belgium)
Following a number of market consultations in 2010, Fluxys and federal electricity and gas regulator CREG have agreed to launch a project to introduce a new access model for the Fluxys natural gas transmission grid by the end of 2012. The new model will give grid users greater flexibility in booking and using capacity in the Belgian grid for the entire range of transmission services.
The entry/exit approach will be further enhanced with the introduction of a unified model for the entire range of transmission activities (to Belgian and foreign consumers). With this approach, grid users will enjoy even greater flexibility in booking and using capacity at entry and exit points (redelivery points in Belgium or interconnection points at the border) on the Fluxys natural gas transmission grid. The new system will take account of the regulatory documents being developed at European level and the royal decree of 23 December 2010 on the code of conduct for access to the natural gas transmission grid, while facilitating cooperation and joint service offers with grid operators in neighbouring countries.
One single balancing zone for high-calorific gas
To take account of the needs and expectations of the market in terms of grid balancing, the current three balancing zones on the high-calorific natural gas grid (natural gas from Norway, the UK, Russia, the Netherlands and countries producing liquefied natural gas) will be merged into one single zone with a virtual transfer point. Grid users can then more easily maintain balance in the volumes they inject into and withdraw from the Fluxys grid. Moreover, if imbalances persist, Fluxys will take steps to ensure the physical integrity of the transmission system, applying financial and physical compensation mechanisms based on the short-term market (principle of market-based balancing) in order to meet the requirements set out in the European Commission’s third legislative package and in compliance with the royal decree on the code of conduct. The entry/exit tariff structure, which is already based on a uniform methodology, will be maintained and simplified taking account of the merger of the different balancing zones. The specific features of Zeebrugge will be taken into account so as to maintain and enhance its attractiveness as a gas exchange platform.
Broad consultation with all stakeholders
To draw up the new transmission model, Fluxys and CREG will take account of the grid rules and codes being developed at European level, and the results of the various open seasons carried out in 2010. Last year, CREG surveyed the market about the current transmission model while Fluxys surveyed the market about standard contracts for the various transmission services. At its annual meeting with grid users in October 2010, Fluxys also informally tested users’ reactions against several basic principles underpinning the future transmission model.
As part of the process of drafting the regulatory documents for the new model, additional market consultations will be held with grid users, distribution system operators and businesses directly connected to the Fluxys grid through the consultation platform provided for in the royal decree on the code of conduct. These market consultations should be organised in the second half of the year. A consultation on the basic legal elements of the standard contract is to be launched in the second quarter.
Source: Fluxys, February 10, 2011;