Brussels / Leipzig / Paris, 30 May 2008
Security of supply, harmonisation of prices throughout Europe, open competition – those were the aims pursued by the liberalisation of the European energy markets initiated in 1998. On the occasion of the first joint press conference of the partners European Energy Exchange AG and Powernext SA in Brussels, EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said “I am pleased to stand here today and be a witness to an important agreement, which, I hope, also means great progress for the European electricity market. Efficient power exchanges are indeed an issue that the European Commission’s Energy Policy for Europe recognised as a key requirement for a well functioning electricity market’.
The intense cooperation between EEX and Powernext is an innovative motor and initiator for a pan-European power market. While it is advantageous for final consumers to have many power suppliers to choose from, a co-operation of the trading platforms is desirable on the wholesale level in the interest of a uniform European single market.
The cooperation is characterised by a transparent and reliable wholesale price formation mechanism, centralised and increased liquidity as well as standardisation and harmonisation of the trading and clearing processes. This means that the European vision of a common price from Finland to Spain is clearly starting to take shape on the basis of the two core markets Germany and France.
Geographically, the cooperation will include Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland, which together cover more than one third of the European consumption of electricity. The process for market coupling launched last year for an improved management of transmission system bottlenecks in central western Europe (the Benelux, Germany, France) will be facilitated and continued to a significant degree through the cooperation between the two exchanges.
“Strong market infrastructures are, just as much as transportation infrastructures, essential to provide a competitive and secure energy in Europe. Our cooperation is geared towards that goal“, Powernext’s CEO Jean-François Conil-Lacoste explains. At the press conference, Mr. Conil-Lacoste and EEX’s CEO, Dr. Hans-Berndt Menzel described the implementation of the aims of the co-operation:
Following the establishment of Spot Trading SE with registered offices in Paris as of 30 September of this year, Powernext and EEX will integrate their entire spot trading activities in power under the umbrella of the newly established company by the end of the year. Both partners hold 50 percent of the shares in the SE each.
Retroactively as of 1st January 2008, EEX will transfer its trading in energy derivatives to the newly established European Power Derivatives GmbH in Leipzig.
As of 1st January 2009, Powernext will contribute the French power futures to the new GmbH [German limited liability company] in Leipzig and, in return, it will receive 20 percent of the shares in the company.
As of April 2009, Powernext will have its exchange trades cleared and settled via the EEX subsidiary European Commodity Clearing AG (ECC). At that time, ECC AG will also assume clearing of the French power futures which will be traded via the Leipzig-based derivatives market company.
“With the implementation of these steps we lay the foundation for a pan-European exchange which is open to further partners“, Dr. Menzel emphasises with a view to the future.