Italian gas spot market in the new balancing regime
The European Commission with Regulation (EU) No. 312/2014 of 26 March 2014 established a network code relating to gas balancing in transport networks with the aim of harmonizing, at European level, the relevant standards and encouraging the use of market mechanisms by network users to efficiently balance their portfolios. In this scenario, in order to enable the gradual implementation of the aforementioned Community provisions in the specific national context, the Italian NRA (hereafter ARERA) has approved, by Resolution 312/2016/R/GAS of 16 June 2016, the principles and provisions crucial for starting the new system of the natural gas balancing in replacement of the previous setting, governed by Resolution ARG/gas45/11 and subsequent amendments and integrations, which included the organization and management of a specific trading platform, known as Natural-Gas Balancing Platform (PB-GAS). In particular, ARERA, in its Decision 312/2016/R/GAS, has defined, in a single regulatory text, called “Integrated Balancing Text” (TIB), the aspects of the “new balancing regime”, namely:
- Snam Rete Gas’ supply criteria in the regulated gas market managed by GME (MGAS), title and locational products for balancing the system;
- the modalities for re-integrating Snam Rete Gas’ resources, in the context of the MGAS, used for balancing;
- the dispatching of gas stored by Snam Rete Gas and the adjustment of such quantities during a special MGAS session.
The Decision 312/2016/R/ GAS also envisaged the possibility for the responsible for the balancing to supply gas volumes for different needs than those provided by the TIB by purchasing stored gas, in the MGAS .
Indeed, in tracking the path of actual introduction of the new balancing system, ARERA has outlined a systematic approach to the definition of a single two-stage balancing platform:
- the first stage, called “transitional”, launched on 1 October 2016, providing that only Snam Rete Gas supply of title products would take place on the MGAS, while the session for the trading of locational products (MPL) and that for regulating stored gas amounts (MGS) were carried out within the framework of PB-GAS which, suitably adapted, remained operational during this period;
- the second stage, called “regime”, providing for the final termination of the PB-GAS operating period and the consequent reorganization of locational products trading, as well as those related to the regulation of the amount of gas stored, within the MGAS.
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