Change Proposed For Finnish Gas Market

Gasum, a Nordic gas sector (natural gas and biogas) expert and driving force for the expansion of gas as a fuel for land and sea transportation, says the Finnish gas market is undergoing rapid changes. The developing biogas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets in particular are diversifying and providing users outside the existing gas pipeline network also with access to gas solutions. The proposal for a reformed Natural Gas Market Act creates a good framework for the development of the Finnish gas market.

”The proposal provides a clearer regulatory framework for the Finnish natural gas market. The new Act will be clearly more market-driven than the current one and will help diversify the choice available to Finnish gas users,” says Gasum CEO Johanna Lamminen. The working group, of which Gasum is a participant, will submit its proposal to Minister of Economic Affairs, Olli Rehn, on Thursday January 21, 2016.

The proposal also covers the opening up of the natural gas market to competition and Finland’s opportunity to end its derogation based on the country’s isolated market status in national legislation. With the market opening up, natural gas sales and transmission must in a timely way be unbundled under separate companies and the European network codes regulating the natural gas market will enter into force.

Improvements in the price competitiveness of gas will be needed for gas volumes to grow. The supply agreement between Gasum and Gazprom signed in late 2015 secures a competitive supply price for gas imported to Finland for the coming years. However, the price competitiveness of gas is affected by several factors, with a key one of these being taxation. Gas taxation has increased eight-fold since 2010 and accounts for almost 50% of the end price paid by customers.

At the moment there are 24 public gas vehicle fuelling stations in Finland, and 18 of these are owned by Gasum. Renewable natural gas is available in all Finnish gas fuelling stations.

(Source: Gasum)