Two gas traders fined €4.8 million for failing to comply with LNG unloading programs in Spain

Two European gas trading companies have been fined a total of €4.8 million by the Spanish National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) for failing to comply with the LNG unloading programs in Spanish regasification companies.

Illustration; Courtesy of Enagas

On 22 December, the CNMC informed it had sanctioned RWE Supply & Trading with €3.6 million and TotalEnergies’ unit Total Gas & Power with €1.2 million.

The companies were fined for failing to comply with the stipulated deadlines for notifying the transmission system operator (TSO) Enagas of important variations in their LNG supply programs in Spain.

According to the CNMC, non-compliance in the use of flexibility mechanisms for the discharge of LNG at regasification plants was detected in June 2021.

The regulatory framework for access, designed by the CNMC in Circular 8/2019 , allows the option for the trader to modify, up to two times, the date of the unloading of the vessel, the unloading plant and the size of the vessel to be unloaded, provided that it is communicated at least five days in advance.

The investigation of the files confirmed that the two companies had breached their obligation to notify the modification of their supply and consumption programs within a minimum five-day notice.

The modifications correspond to cancellations of unloading of LNG ships and represent a serious infraction provided for in article 110 p) of Law 34/1998, of the Hydrocarbons Sector, the authority explained.