Friday, September 14, 2012

Eustream acquired stakes in the Central European Gas Hub

The Slovak company Eustream informed on Friday (September 14) about acquisition of a 15 % stake in the Central European Gas Hub AG (CEGH).

CEGH provides trading platform at the physical gas hub in Austrian Baumgarten an der March, wholly owned by OMV and close to Slovak and Hungarian borders. It is one of the leading international gas hubs in Continental Europe.

Since its foundation in 2005, CEGH has seen the number of members rise to 147. Its trading volume in 2011 was approximately 40 bcm and in the first half of 2012, its trading volumes were 23% up on the previous year.

"Joining CEGH is an important milestone for Eustream which complements our traditional position of the major gas highway for the EU," says Gunnar Löwensen, Member of the Board of Directors of Eustream.
"With Eustream on board, CEGH will increase its importance to customers and will contribute to the security of supply in Central Europe," says Hans-Peter Floren, OMV Executive Board Member for Gas and Power and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of CEGH AG.

Gazprom out, Eustream in

Eustream (100 % subsidiary of SPP Group) is the Slovak gas transmission system operator with a transmission system capacity of over 90 bcm/year and with a total length of 2,270 km.

Following the Eustream acquisition, OMV will hold 65% of CEGH, with the Vienna Stock Exchange still holding 20%. The companies informed that possible participation of other natural gas producers is not excluded in future.

In 2008 Russian company Gazprom expressed interest in ultimate purchase of 50 % stakes of CEGH. However, in June 2011 the transaction was blocked by the European Commission, deeming it contravenes the directives of the Third Energy Package, particularly the unbundling principle of separate supply and infrastructure.

By the end of 2012 CEGH plans to introduce "CEGH Gas Exchange Within-Day Market of Wiener Boerse", where balancing energy for natural gas networks will be traded. The "entry-exit" system will be introduced at the beginning of 2013 and CEGH will take over the role of operator of the Virtual Trading Point for Austria.

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