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Annual report 2012

  • Nederlands
  • Engels

Optimise value of existing assets

Strengthen leading position as cross- border gasinfrastructure company in Europe

Enable transition towards more sustainable energy usage

1. Optimising the value of our existing assets

Our strategy is firmly based on our gas transport and infrastructure activities. The TSOs GTS and Gasunie Deutschland fulfil statutory duties in the field of gas transport, having the task of ensuring a well-functioning gas market. In carrying out these tasks, the TSOs are guided by the values of safety, reliability and operational excellence, all to the highest standard. To optimise the value of our asset portfolio, we develop capacity products and supporting services in the field of transport, storage and LNG. In addition, we combine assets so that we can offer innovative products and services. We also aim to further strengthen the position of TTF as the most liquid market place in continental Europe.

Besides the necessary building of new infrastructure in Germany to meet the demand for capacity, we have also created the possibility of buying back capacity reserved by customers, on the condition that we sell this capacity directly on to another customer. This enables the gas market to function more efficiently.

2. Strengthening our leading position as cross-border gas infrastructure company in Europe

We continuously seek to make our infrastructure more attractive to European market players wishing to transport gas. This serves to stimulate the commercial and physical use of our assets. Moreover, by developing a strong position in Europe, we make Gasunie a logical discussion partner for regulatory bodies. In that context, we are keen to collaborate with other TSOs. We also keep an eye open for possible mergers and acquisitions, as well as participations in pipelines at important entry and exit points and on key routes, which may help to strengthen our position still further.

Due to the unbundling of integrated energy companies, infrastructure has become an independent sector. In fact, we currently transport gas through our international infrastructure for more than 100 customers, not only domestic producers but increasingly also importers and international transporters of gas. This underlines how important it is for Gasunie to be present at those places where gas enters Europe. We can only attract large, international customers wishing to transport their gas through our network if we have an active presence at those entry points. The need to strengthen our position in Europe in this way is therefore becoming increasingly urgent.

Gasunie was one of the founding members of PRISMA, the European platform for booking gas capacity. We occupy an important position within this organisation. We are also a key player in ENTSOG, where we participate in discussions at the highest levels about the structure of the European gas market.

The position of TTF and adjacent gas hubs has been strengthened by the separation of APX-ENDEX into a gas segment (derivatives and the gas spot trade of APX-ENDEX) and an electricity segment (the electricity spot market and clearing services), as well as by the participation by IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) as a shareholder in the gas part.
ICE is one of the biggest operators of trading platforms for global commodity markets. Thanks to collaboration with ICE, world-class technology has now become available for the gas trading markets in this part of Europe. ICE also has considerable expertise in the field of clearing systems. By working together in ICE-ENDEX, both ICE and Gasunie are helping to maintain a liquid, transparent and stable gas market for the benefit of European and global customers. This is a positive development for traders, suppliers, customers and consumers in the gas market.

3. Enabling the transition towards more sustainable energy usage

Gasunie believes that in the future it will be possible to provide energy that is cleaner, reliable in supply, technically viable and, above all, affordable. We are pleased to be a part of this development, and see an ongoing role for natural gas in a sustainable energy mix. Gas is a robust, efficient and relatively cheap form of energy with a widespread transport and storage infrastructure. It can make the provision of low-carbon energy cost-effective. Energy that is generated more sustainably will lead to a greater demand for flexibility and back-up. Gas, unlike sustainable forms of energy, is highly flexible. It can be regulated and switched on and off very quickly in gas power stations, for example. This flexible character of gas makes it easier to deploy more sustainably generated energy through gas-to-power.

Surpluses of sustainably generated wind energy can also be stored in gas form for later use (‘power-to-gas’). This will take pressure off the electricity network. Gasunie is also investing in research into how electricity can be converted to gas (such as hydrogen and methanised gas). Adopting such a ‘chain’ approach to energy supply will enable gas to give energy provision a significant innovative boost.