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17 December 2018
The EU Gas Supply Standard Regulation (2017/1938) sets out extreme scenarios for which gas suppliers must be prepared. For example, gas suppliers must be prepared for:
In order to ensure that gas supplies are secure and to achieve a high level of capacity availability, Section 14(1)(7) read with Section 63 of the Gas Act requires the market area manager (MAM)(1) to prepare an annual coordinated network development plan in accordance with the objectives set out in Section 63(4) of the Gas Act.
Network development plans must:
These goals are set out in order to:
Coordinated network development plans considers:
Transmission system operators (TSOs) receive capacity requirements from users throughout the year. Based on these capacity requirements, and in coordination with the Austrian regulatory authority E-Control, the MAM and the TSOs must create a capacity scenario. On the basis of this capacity scenario, the TSOs must then develop projects that can meet the capacity requirements and submit the network development plan for their own network to the MAM. Finally, the MAM and TSOs will meet to coordinate the interfaces and coherence of the projects with the capacity scenario. The projects submitted by the TSOs must be formally harmonised. After further revision with E-Control, a final coordinated network development plan will be submitted to E-Control for consultation. E-Control will issue an official decision approving the network development plan. The prerequisite for approval is proof of the technical necessity, appropriateness and cost effectiveness of the TSOs' investment suggestions. E-Control may make its approval contingent on certain conditions and impose further requirements to the extent necessary to achieve the objectives set out in the Gas Act.
Due to the nomination by TSOs Gas Connect Austria GmbH (GCA) and Trans Austria Gasleitung GmbH (TAGG), and E-Control's subsequent approval, Austrian Gas Grid Management AG (AGGM) has served as the MAM as of 1 June 2017. AGGM is responsible for preparing the network development plan. AGGM's plan focuses on the Austrian pipeline transmission networks located in the eastern market area; as such, Tyrol and Vorarlberg, which have no transmission pipelines, are not considered in the plan.
The draft of the 2018 network development plan was submitted by the MAM to E-Control at the end of November 2018. The development of the projects set out in the 2018 plan was carried out in accordance with the European planning instruments and in coordination with domestic and foreign TSOs.
The 2018 plan ensures that the following conditions are met:
The TSOs have provided information regarding which projects must be established during the 2019 through 2028 planning period in order to provide the newly introduced capacity requirements. Both the GCA and TAGG have submitted one new project for the provision of new capacities and a total of 12 new placement investment projects. The newly submitted projects are Uberackern - Oberkappel (GCA) and Murfeld Exit Capacity Increase (TAGG), both with an estimated project implementation duration of four-and-a-half years.
The entire network development plan can be downloaded on E-Control's website (www.e-control.at).
For further information on this topic please contact Dagmar Hozová at Schoenherr Attorneys at Law by telephone (+43 1 53 43 70) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Schoenherr website can be accessed at www.schoenherr.eu.
(1) Pursuant to Section 13 of the Gas Act, the MAM is responsible for coordinating tasks regarding the transmission network and management and infrastructure planning in cooperation with the market participants. It must fulfil all of the duties set out in Section 14 of the Gas Act.
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