Government bill to facilitate regional natural gas markets and integration to EU’s internal market
Finland’s Government submitted a proposal to amend the Natural Gas Market Act on 5 December 2018. The amendments would add new provisions to allow discounted transmission tariffs for international connections to end the isolation of Finland’s natural gas market as well as to create regional entry and exit systems with two or more EU Member States.
The Balticconnector gas pipeline, currently under construction, will connect the Finnish natural gas market to the Baltic and European markets. The Government proposes that it would be possible not to charge a transmission tariff at the pipeline entry and exit point on the grounds of an international obligation or agreement binding on Finland or an agreement between transmission system operators (TSOs) based on their mutual market conditions.
The Government also proposes new provisions to create regional entry and exit systems that would cover the natural gas network of two or more EU Member States.
Introducing new regional entry and exit systems or tariff arrangements would promote competition in the regional natural gas markets and even out differences in wholesale prices within the region. Operators and end users would be able to buy natural gas from a number of different suppliers and make use of the storage facilities in Latvia and the LNG terminal in Lithuania. Regional arrangements would also increase the Balticconnector’s utilisation ratio.
For the purpose of opening Finland’s natural gas market to competition, the Finnish Energy Authority would have temporary competence to confirm transmission tariffs for international connections and other terms of international transmission for the years 2020 and 2021. The deadline for the publication of the entry and exit transmission tariffs for 2020 would be postponed until the end of June 2019.
Petteri Kuuva, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 4819