EU allows early termination of E.ON’s German gas commitments

The European Commission has released E.ON from commitments to reduce long term gas bookings five years early. The energy company used to book the majority of the available transport capacity […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The European Commission has released E.ON from commitments to reduce long term gas bookings five years early.

The energy company used to book the majority of the available transport capacity at entry points into its own gas transmission networks on a long term basis.

The Commission had concerns it may have been preventing other gas suppliers from accessing the German gas market and competing with E.ON.

In May 2010, it accepted commitments from E.ON to release large volumes of gas pipeline capacity and to reduce its long term bookings in the German grid. They were originally due to last until April 2021.

However as E.ON booked significantly less capacity than the threshold of 54% of total capacity set out in the commitments, competitors have been able to enter the market and gain significant market shares.

The Commission said the gas market has now evolved, with firms, including E.ON, generally preferring short term bookings to be able to respond flexibly to changing market demand and market shares.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, added: ‚ÄúThis case is a good example of how commitments decisions can open up markets to competition quickly and effectively. The commitments have resolved the competition problem even quicker than expected and are no longer needed now.”