Powernext Gas, launched on 26th November 2008, pursues its development. During the summer, five new members started trading on the Exchange: Electrabel, Enel Trade, E.ON Energy Trading, Rhodia Energy and Statkraft Energi. 22 members are now connected to the platform. “This confirms the strong interest in the French gas market. 10 additional companies are also in the membership process and should start soon; we are also extremely pleased to welcome our first industrial customer on the platform” comments Richard Katz, Sales and Communication Director at Powernext.
The development of liquidity has also been satisfactory despite the difficult economical situation in Europe. Since 1st January 2009, 1 921 GWh have been traded on Powernext Gas Spot and 11 830 GWh on Powernext Gas Futures. “With these spot volumes, Powernext Gas Spot is already the most liquid Exchange in Continental Europe. The liquidity on futures contracts should increase with the arrival of new market participants”, declares Jean-François Conil-Lacoste, CEO of Powernext.
Spot volumes should continue to develop sharply with the recent decision of the Commission de Régulation de l’Energie (CRE), published on 12th October 2009, authorising the gas transmission operator GRTgaz to trade directly on Powernext Gas Spot as soon as 1st December 2009 in order to cover parts of its daily balancing needs. GRTgaz will intervene through an innovative automatic trading algorithm designed by a working group issued from the "Concertation Gaz" process formed by shippers, CRE, and GRTgaz, to which Powernext has participated. This decision will increase the liquidity on the exchange by reinforcing the institutional role of the price references published by Powernext. On 1st December 2009, the Powernext-Balancing GRTgaz platform on which GRTgaz was performing its balancing interventions through two daily auctions since 12th April 2007 will be closed.
On 24th September, Powernext also introduced end-of-day price references for Powernext Gas Spot. These price references will help gas suppliers to develop commercial offers partially indexed on market prices. Development of these indexations will be key for the further development of the Exchange.
Over the next few months, several measures will also improve liquidity on the French gas wholesale market and benefit to the development of the exchange:
- Launch of Fos-Cavaou LNG terminal with a capacity of 8.25 bcm delivered in the South zone,
- Launch of new interconnection capacity between France and Spain,
- Launch of new interconnection capacity between France and Germany,
- Operational launch of several combined-cycle gas turbines (CCGT).