bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Ceturtdiena 21.06.2018 | Name days: Monvīds, Egita, Emīls
LatviaLatvia

Latvenergo considers entering the gas market

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvijas Gaze continues limiting the interests of other gas traders by not allowing them to access Incukalns gas storage facility. Previously the monopolist denied doing that. The excuse mentioned then was that there was no room in the storage facility. The gas monopolist continued making life harder for others even after major amendments to the law were added. Now Latvenergo considers competing with Latvijas Gāze, as reported by Nekā personīga.

The load on Incukalns gas storage facility has declined by more than half. Nevertheless, LG manages to find new reasons why other gas owners are not allowed to store gas there. Latvian consumers still pay the highest price in Europe for gas. LG says the costs of storing gas in Incukalns are high, but the company allegedly does not wish to make money off it.

Up until now, LG and Russian Gazprom Group companies were the only ones using Incukalns. There were also reserves for Estonia and Lithuania, as well as consumers of Pskov Oblast. Once amendments were approved to permit the liberalization of the gas market, discussions commenced about storing gas of other suppliers in Incukalns. LG responded that it is not possible because there is no room in the storage facility.

Everything is different now. Incukalns gas storage facility is less than half-full. This was mentioned by Itera Latvija manager Juris Savickis at the last shareholders meeting. He frightened consumers by saying that heating may be disrupted in winter because of the low gas volume and low pressure needed to pump gas.

An interesting incident took place last year. Lithuania wished to pump 100 million m3 of gas from Klaipeda terminal to Incukalns. LG said no, that would not be possible. LG explained that by saying it was pump-out season for gas, and that Lithuania would have to wait six months before the matter could be discussed. Then Lithuania lost interest. «Last year, Latvia agreed to store 300 million m3 of gas from Lithuania. We received nothing at the beginning of the season. It seems they had reasons not to deliver,» – said LG Chairman Aigars Kalvitis.

At the beginning of 2016, Latvenergo procured five million m3 of gas from Gazprom without LG’s mediation. It is stored in Incuklans but cannot be used. It is necessary to wait for 2017 first. «We’ve had three opportunities to buy and transport gas from Lithuania, from LitGas. LG declined the request to be provided access to networks twice. The regulator’s decision applied to that. Another opportunity we used was Gazprom’s export auction in March. We had procured five million m3 of gas there. We had requested access to use networks in May and December. LG declined that request,» – says Latvenergo board member Maris Kunickis.

Latvenergo complained to the public utilities regulator and the latter expressed a warning to LG, saying its restrictions are illegal. But it seems Kalvitis is not at all bothered: LG does not intend to provide Latvenergo with access to the company’s transmission networks. Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens believes behaviour of LG contains not so much petty nuisances as it does the inability to work under new economic conditions. «The regulator has warned LG about the illegality of putting obstacles in the way of other businesses like that. Latvenergo considers the possibility of procuring gas if it comes across a good offer. What we hear from our Lithuanian colleagues is that Latvians find it hard to understand different ways of cooperating with other gas storage companies. We see LG’s current behaviour is not very flexible,» – says Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens.

The ministry and public utilities regulator believe that LG’s arguments on seasonal restrictions for intake and pump-out of gas are laughable, because it is possible to make additional transactions online and organize the supply of gas for later date.

LG’s tariffs are also the highest in Europe. Lately the company has been known to move away from tariff-calculation methods. The gas price is closely tied to oil and crude price. It is a formula LG has to use to calculate prices for consumers. Tariffs should change alongside oil and crude prices. Crude price had unexpectedly decline by one quarter in January 2016 in comparison with November 2015. The price dropped from EUR 1.22 to EUR 0.82 per gallon. The gas price, on the other hand, remained unchanged – EUR 206 per 1,000 m3.

«We check the data from LG on the gas procurement price from Gazprom every month. We have noticed that until now LG has not mentioned mark-up higher than the one it would have paid Gazprom. It is a different case of whether or not LG could have performed its procurements in a more optimal way. The most likely answer is yes,» – comments Public Utilities Commission Chairman Rolands Irklis.

Talks about the sale of Incuklans gas storage facility have commenced. According to Nekā personīga, talks are held with two companies. LG co-owner Marguerite Fund, which represents multiple European banks, and Open Grid Europe, one of the largest gas companies in Germany. One conditions that has been put on the table is that Incukalns infrastructure will be bought if the Latvian state participates in the deal. This could happen with Latvenergo’s mediation. Latvenergo plans to become a direct competitor to LG. «Yes, we will not hide our plans to progress in this direction. We are one of the largest consumers in Latvia. We could also become a gas trader,» – said Kunickis.

Ref: 102.109.109.5991


Leave a reply

Ukraine's anti-corruption court law insufficient to IMF commitments

The International Monetary Fund has commended the Ukrainian parliament for passing a law to establish an anti-corruption court and pointed to need to amend it to ensure the court can work effectively.

Opinion: they’re trying to shut us up; KPV LV is inconvenient for current government

«We are inconvenient for the current government, the established order, because for the first time a party is prepared to use facts in its rhetoric in the pre-election period. They are trying to shut us up,» said KPV LV prime minister candidate Aldis Gobzems at a press-conference after Artuss Kaimiņš was taken away by Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau.

Hydro and wind power plants produced 70.5% more electricity last year

In 2017 gross energy consumption in Latvia comprised 194.9 petajoules, which is 5.5 % more than in 2016. Over the past five years, the gross energy consumption has not changed significantly. However the share of renewable energy has increased by 2.55 percentage points.

Milder penalties for the accused in digital TV case; idea’s authors get no prison sentence

Riga Regional Court has released a shortened ruling in the so-called digital television criminal case. With it, the court acquitted previously convicted former director of Latvia’s National Theatre Ojārs Rubenis. Nevertheless, some of the accused have been sentenced to fines and actual prison time.

Estonian traitor Simm ruled to serve full 12.5 years in prison

A court in Tartu has decided that the Estonian Defence Ministry ex-official Herman Simm, found guilty of treason in 2009 and sentenced to 12.5 years in jail, has to serve his full sentence, not to be released earlier.

CPCB officers detain Kaimiņš after Saeima meeting

Officers of Latvia’s Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau detained Saeima deputy Artuss Kaimiņš after the end of the parliament’s meeting.

Around 15% of Estonian 15-19-year-olds estimated to have mental illness

In Estonia, an estimated total of 20,000-40,000 adolescents, comprising 10-20% of all teenage Estonians, have been found to suffer from a mental illness and close to 3,000 children have been prescribed antidepressants.

Chief: Anti-Money Laundering Service should not submit to a single person

Anti-Money Laundering Service should not be controlled by a single person, says chief of the Control Service Ilze Znotiņa.

Saeima permits commencement of criminal process against Artuss Kaimiņš

This week Latvia’s Saeima voted in favour of the decision to detain and then perform a search in the home of Saeima member Artuss Kaimiņš from KPV LV political party.

U.S. withdraws from UN Human Rights Council voicing sharp criticism

The U.S. has withdrawn from the United Nations Human Rights Council describing the body as being politically biased and not working towards reducing human rights violations globally.

Latvian minister confirms interrogation by Lithuanian investigators

In the case regarding possible corruption in the National Blood Centre, Lithuanian services have interrogated Latvia’s Healthcare Minister Anda Čakša, as confirmed by the official.

Recreational use of marijuana legalised in Canada

Canadian Parliament has adopted a law legalising the recreational use of marijuana nationwide after medical use of the drug has been allowed since 2001. Canada is to become the second country in the world allow buying marijuana for recreational use.

Human Rights Committee: KGB documents should be made publicly accessible

Documents left from Latvian SSR KGB office are part of national document heritage and therefore should be handed over for lifetime storage and be made publicly accessible for research in Latvia’s National Archive.

Non-negotiated contracts; fictive deals: digital television introduction schemes for «mere mortals»

The criminal process revolving around digital television project’s realization in Latvia was launched 15 years ago – in 2003. And it began with a search in a company owned by Andris Šķēle. After that, the list of involved people started expanding with names like Andrejs Ēķis, Jurģis Liepnieks and others.

Doctors unjustifiably charged fees for services worth 255,000 last year

Last year, authorities found that medical institutions that provide state budget-financed healthcare services had charged fees for services worth EUR 254,994, according to data compiled by Health Inspectorate.

Budget Committee picks Swedbank economist for Bank of Latvia Council

On Tuesday, 19 June, Saeima’s Budget and Finance Committee unanimously decided to submit to the Saeima a decision project regarding approval of Mārtiņš Kazāks for the post of member of the council of the Bank of Latvia, as confirmed by Saeima’s press-service.

Farmers Saeima proposes declaring state of emergency in Latvia’s agriculture sector

Farmers Saeima association has sent a letter to Latvia’s State Chancellery, Agriculture Ministry, Finance Ministry and Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments, detailing a request addressed to the Cabinet of Ministers and Saeima to declare a state of emergency in the country’s agriculture sector because of the lasting drought.

IT specialist’s lawyers appeal client's arrest in recent restaurant case

Lawyers of Edgars Štrombergs, who is the accused party in the Vairāk saules restaurant cash register data manipulation case, have appealed the security measure applied to him, as confirmed by sworn attorney Mareks Halturins.

Russian and Belarusian arms control experts hosted by Lithuania

Russian and Belarusian arms control inspectors have been hosted by Lithuania as NATO forces trained across the Baltic states and Poland in exercise Saber Strike 2018.

Latvia’s ports suffer freight volume decline in first five months of 2018

Latvian ports handled 27.072 million tonnes of freight in the first five months of this year, which is 7.5% less when compared to the same period of last year, according to data compiled by Transport Ministry.

Bicycle rickshaws in Tallinn will need safety belts from July

Seeking to regulate the provision of bicycle rickshaw services in the Estonian capital, the Tallinn City Council has is to more particular bicycle rickshaw regulations that would align the services closer to car taxis.

158 election sites to open in Riga during next Saeima elections

A total of 158 election sites are planned to be opened in Riga for this autumn’s Saeima elections, as confirmed by documents prepared by Riga City Council.

30% of Latvian residents are dissatisfied with their family’s financial state

Residents’ overall mood has declined considerably across all survey positions. Residents have become the most negative about Latvia’s economic situation – 31% of them believe it has worsened. When asked to voice their outlooks for Latvia’s economy in a year from now, 17% of respondents said it will have improved, according to results of Baltic International Bank’s latest Latvian Barometer.

Apple fined 5 million euros for customer rights violations in Australia

A court in Australia has ruled that U.S. tech firm Apple has to pay a fine of 5.7 million euros refusing to repair iPhones and iPads that had been serviced by third parties as those actions breached consumer law.

Latvian coalition still torn about attracting highly-qualified guest workers

Because of differences in opinions among ministries, Latvia’s government is unlikely to support and view the proposal to ease the issue of EU blue card to highly-qualified guest workers without appropriate higher education, says Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis.