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CNMC has warned of the impact of government aid on competition in the gas market


The National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) warned this Monday that the government’s aid to protect domestic consumers from sharp increases could have a negative impact on the liberalization of the retail gas market. Gas, including neighboring communities with subsidized central heating, with quarterly increases in rates of last resort (TUR) for all households from October.

“As the CNMC we are seriously concerned about the consequences of the measures taken in the short term, but also on competition in the medium term”, which “could seriously affect the structure of the market and hinder the liberalization of the sector” , warned Rocío Prieto, the new director of energy of the CNMC, organized by Gasindustrial In her speech at the Conference on Gas Geopolitics.

Prieto recalled that the body is monitoring the transfer at this rate managed by four companies (Naturgy, Iberdrola, Endesa and TotalEnergies), a barrage of requests that led to the opening of an information file by the body.

In his first public intervention after his appointment, he stressed that from the point of view of gas supply, Spain “should not worry”, although it should be about the price, which “should not be referred” to the European TTF market. The organization is collaborating with a new price index that the EU is preparing to replace that indicator.

The president of the operator of the Iberian gas market, Mibgas, Raul Yunta, has valued the savings for the electricity market obtained from the use of this reference for the cap on gas in electricity production, estimated at more than 2,840 million euros. For the period from 15th June to 15th September.

And if TTF had been chosen instead of Mibgas, he estimates that the additional costs for the Spanish system would have been 560 million, since the Dutch context is much more expensive after the invasion of Ukraine. At Mibgas, he explained, 20% of the demand in the Spanish gas market is already being traded with more than 100 active agents “with effective competition”. 80% are traded “transparently” through markets known as OTC. If all demand is referred to MIBGAS instead of TTF, the estimated savings would be 5.488 million, according to Yunta.

Susana de Pablo, director general of Enagás GTS, also insists on the idea of ​​a winter without gas supply problems, because Spain has a “much better prepared system than the rest of our neighbors” from the point of view of various sources. , thanks to a network of regasification plants unmatched in Europe, which has made it possible to bring in gas from 17 different countries this year, with the United States the first supplier ahead of Algeria for the first time.

In Spain, regasification tanks are capable of storing the equivalent of 24 ships, while France has 10 and Italy and Belgium about 4. As of November 1, 14 operators with obligations to feed strategic gas reserves “meet their obligations.” The likely peak this winter is 1,715 GWh and the “extreme” peak, 1,780 GWh, is less than the record 1,863 GWh reached on December 17, 2007. Even with their maximum exports to France, “the Spanish gas system has sufficient capacity.”

The person in charge of the technical manager of the auxiliary system explained that despite the “dramatic” drop in demand, this year was the second highest in Spain’s history from a demand point of view due to the pull of the combined cycles. Industrial demand, especially in summer, fell by almost 40% in August, while the decline in May was similar to the Covid crisis, with a drop of 15.1%. And some “stabilization” in September.

The Enagás directive launched a “quiet message” regarding compliance with the gas demand reduction targets agreed with the EU. Discounts on gas used to cover electricity exports to Portugal and France show the industry’s contraction between August and October is “more than enough”.

Source: eldiario.es/

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