The extraction and consumption of low calorific gas by major customers.
An indirect effect on gas trading in the gas market cannot be ruled out.
Proposed Act amending the Gas Act to restrict the demand for low calorific gas from major customers
The proposed Act amending the Gas Act to restrict the demand for low calorific gas from major customers entails a prohibition on the extraction of low calorific gas for (in effect) the nine largest customers. These customers will have until 1 October 2022 to transition to an alternative to low calorific gas. It is anticipated that all nine companies will choose to transition to high calorific gas. The proposed Act gives the national grid operator the task of, if the customer so chooses, converting the customer in question’s connection to the part of the gas transport network used to transport low calorific gas to the part of the gas transport network used to transport high calorific gas.
These nine customers may request a temporary exemption from the prohibition on low calorific gas if their transition to a different energy source is delayed due to external causes. A possibility of exemption has also been included in case customers want to transition to a sustainable energy source, but this sustainable source is not yet complete or not completely stable.
For all other major customers, the proposed Act includes a prohibition on extracting more than 100 million Nm3 in a gas year (from 1 October 2022). This respects the existing consumption of these customers. Some growth is also possible. This consumption limit is temporary in nature and shall not extend beyond 1 October 2030.
For situations in which this consumption limit threatens to compromise the security of supply of electricity, heat or gas, an exemption can be granted.
The prohibitions entail an effective and efficient reduction in the demand for low calorific gas, thereby contributing to a prompt, safe and responsible phase-out of gas extraction and to the permanent closure of the Groningen gas field.
Articles 10f and 10g, which are included in Article I, Part C, contain technical requirements. The effect of these provisions is that customers may need to make adjustments to their operational processes so that they can continue to meet their energy needs.
Article 10a(6)(b), as amended by Article I, Part B, may also entail a technical requirement. The effect of this provision is that it will no longer be possible in the future for the largest customers (or their legal successors) to be connected to the part of the national gas transport network used to transport low calorific gas. This provision has been included in order to avoid undoing the transition of these companies to a different energy source, which would also entail capital destruction for the grid operator.