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European gas procurement platform

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This month, two topics that appear in the Rumours section got me thinking. They are not really rumours, of course, but observations about the aggressive mood towards the gas industry. Someone sent me a picture of a poster in Düsseldorf calling for protests against a gas conference in Vienna. It was quite remarkable to see in Düsseldorf a call to follow an anti-gas demonstration in Vienna. And you could read about the former CDU politician and advisor Friedbert Pflüger in Germany's leading tabloid ‘Bild’ and the news magazine ‘SPIEGEL’, which attacked him for his advisory work for Nord Stream 2 and his commitment to a Russian-German/European energy partnership. Perhaps I know Mr Pflüger too well or not well enough. He has never made a secret of his commitment to Nord Stream 2. I have always found it quite transparent. You don't have to share his positions, but why his "closeness to the Russian gas company Gazprom" is now being used to nail him in newspaper articles and why he is being publicly accused of saying that the Russians never exerted pressure on Germany with gas during the coldest Cold War, I cannot understand. But maybe I'm wrong. The articles I mentioned are public. As always, make up your own mind and feel free to correct me.

Another topic on which I have a clear opinion is the Topic of the Month. The development of the EU's common gas procurement platform, now also known as AggregateEU for short. I am very sceptical about the value of this platform. Most market participants I have spoken to share my scepticism, which is not necessarily a good thing. Only other opinions stimulate thinking. But there were at least a few more positive voices, saying that the platform at least represents an additional option for gas procurement. The platform will be operational in April, and the EU wants it to be a success - let’s wait and see.

TOPIC OF THE MONTH: European gas procurement platform

In recent months, I have repeatedly reported on the preparations for the European gas procurement platform. The legal basis was created with the European Regulation 2022/2576 of 19 December 2022 (I wrote about the rules that I think are essential in the last issue in the Market Rumours section). The tender process to find an operator for the platform did not go smoothly. However, in January, the capacity platform Prisma was awarded the contract. The legal appeal against this award by the wholesale platform enmacc is still pending before the European Court. The platform was supposed to go live at the end of March. This deadline will not be quite met, but more on that later. In March, the EU Commission and Prisma presented the concept to market participants in a series of workshops, so that the main features regarding the processes and products are known from these presentations...