Gas network duties measure has legal issues, industry notes

Industrialists have expressed their opposition to a planned extension of a temporary distribution duty imposed on natural gas, citing serious legal issues, in public consultation procedures launched by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, held as part of the lead-up to adopting new distribution network pricing regulations.

Industrial consumers have pointed out that the provisional duty has a compatibility issue, based on a EU directive issued in 2009, while also noting it is imposed across the board for all natural gas network user categories.

Despite being a measure for which RAE is responsible, the provisional duty constitutes a form of State intervention as it contravenes the aforementioned 2009 directive and is not compatible with the framework governing the natural gas market’s functioning, industrialists stressed in their position voiced through the public consultation procedure.

The industrialists also described the plan to extend the provisional duty’s duration as unacceptable as it was originally introduced for a transitional period covering the market until the introduction of distribution network pricing regulations for operators, to be endorsed and implemented by RAE based on legislation ratified in 2011.