Agreement reached between leading regional gas transmission companies to take forward work on new gas pipeline network
Agreement has been reached on next steps to take forward the New Europe Transmission System initiative – known as the NETS project. This follows a round-table meeting attended by the CEOs of several Transmission System Operators (TSOs) in Central and South Eastern Europe which took place on Friday, 26 September in Budapest.
The NETS project, first proposed by MOL Group in December last year, is a major initiative aimed at achieving greater inter-connectivity between the various national gas pipeline systems across Central and South Eastern Europe and improved security of supply – both in terms of better utilisation of existing links and through the construction of new links. The immediate aims of the NETS project are to work together on further regional infrastructure development, including: improving existing inter-connectivity; planning additional links between national pipeline systems; and taking forward regulatory and legal harmonisation.
The European Commission has expressed its interest in and support for the NETS initiative. The participants at the round-table meeting were also given a statement by the Hungarian Government expressing its strong support for the NETS initiative.
Following the round-table meeting, Transmission System Operators (TSOs) from Hungary, Croatia and Romania have agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to take forward the NETS project. The MoU lays down the framework of co-operation for those participating in the project and provides for the establishment and methodology of a specially constituted and jointly funded Study Company for taking forward certain practical steps on the NETS project, including further work on four main workstreams: Financial and Structural, Regulatory Issues, Business Vision & Strategy, and Energy Policy & Public Affairs.
Representatives from the Bosnia-Herzegovina TSO also signed the MoU as an Observer – and expressed their commitment to work together with the three signing companies – while representatives from Serbia expressed their hopes to be able to join the MoU in the near future. Representatives from Bulgaria and Slovenia also attended the meeting and stated they would consider working together with the other participants in the future.
The round-table meeting was addressed by Mr Péter Gordos, State Secretary for Energy in the Hungarian Ministry of Transport, Telecommunication and Energy, who said:
“ The Hungarian Government is strongly supportive of the NETS project, which is of major potential benefit to both gas suppliers and consumers. We welcome the progress made on this important initiative by the participants in the project from across Central and South Eastern Europe – and we will continue to work with our partners to establish the necessary contacts at a governmental level to help take the NETS project forward. “
Dr János Zsuga, the CEO of FGSZ Natural Gas Transmission Ltd (FGSZ) said:
“ We are delighted to have reached agreement with our partners on various practical steps for taking forward the NETS project, including the MOU signed today by the seven participating companies. Improving European gas transmission networks is an issue of great importance in the Central and South Eastern European region and in Europe generally. We believe that the NETS project can make a major contribution towards improved investment and better inter-connectivity in the regional gas pipeline network, with consequent benefits for competition, procurement and security of supply. “
Further information for NETS project:
1. The NETS project concept was first proposed by MOL Group in December 2007, as announced in the MOL press release dated 5 December 2007. An initial round-table meeting of Transmission System Operators (TSOs) and potential participants in the project was held on 13-14 March 2008 in Bucharest, hosted by Transgaz S.A. of Romania. A follow-up meeting of TSO representatives took place in Novi Sad, Serbia on 22 May 2008, hosted by Srbijagas of Serbia.
2. The Transmission System Operators (TSOs) who have today signed the common Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and agreed on the establishment and working methodology of the jointly funded Study Company for taking forward work on the NETS project are:
- FGSZ (Hungary)
- Plinacro (Croatia)
- Transgas (Romania)
- BH-Gas (Bosnia-Herzegovina) – as an official Observer
The other TSO attendees at the round-table meeting held on 26 September were: Bulgartransgaz (Bulgaria); Geoplin Plinovodi (Slovenia); and Srbijagas (Serbia)
3. The NETS project is aimed at achieving greater inter-connectivity between the various national gas pipeline systems across Central and South Eastern Europe – both in terms of better utilisation of existing links and through the construction of new links. The immediate aims of the project are for the participating TSOs to work together on further regional infrastructure development, including: improving existing inter-connectivity; planning additional links between national pipeline systems; and taking forward regulatory and legal harmonisation.