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Saeima committee conceptually supports creation of a single regional gas market

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvian Saeima’s National Economy Committee conceptually supported amendments to the Energy Law intended to prevent obstacles for the creation of a regional natural gas market.

Additionally, amendments are meant to ensure the single Finnish, Estonian and Latvian entry-exit tariff system is able to come online 1 January 2020, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.

«This is an important step we have put a lot of effort into making. This is why we have to act now and create a single gas market so that end consumers have access to good prices and quality services,» said the committee’s chairman Jānis Vitenbergs, stressing that the legislative draft is also important in the context of Inčukalns underground gas storage facility.

He notes opening of the market would help prevent the problem observed in previous years, when Latvia’s market fails to provide full use of the facility, leaving it only partially filled.

The opening of the regional gas market is made more difficult by the Public Utilities Commission’s limited authority, continues Vitenbergs, adding that amendments to the law will provide the regulator the right to coordinate the unified gas transmission network’s entry-exit system’s usage regulations.

«Without these amendments, commencement of the single natural gas transmissions system with 1 January 2020 onward would be impossible,» stresses Vitenbergs.

Having a single regional gas market allows for member states to mutually cooperate in order to integrate their national gas markets on a single or multiple regional levels, the annotation to the legislative draft mentions.

The existing redaction of the Energy law does not provide the regulator the rights to approve gas transmission system’s usage regulations that would be binding for several countries.

The parliament notes that the law is planned to be expanded with a new section that will detail the new rights for the regulator, as well as allow gas transmission operator to reach agreements with other EU member states’ gas transmission operators on the creation of a single entry-exit system, coordinating the use of the system, its balancing rules, as well as mutual compensation order between operators.

It is planned that the single Finnish, Estonian and Latvian, natural gas entry-exit tariff system will start working on 1 January 2020. In order to make it happen, it is necessary for amendments to be approved as soon as possible. This is why the committee will ask the Saeima to add the topic to its 10 October meeting’s agenda, says Vitenbergs.


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