The Council of Public Utilities Commission (Regulator) approves the regulations in the natural gas industry that improve the setting-up process of natural gas system connections - "Regulations of natural gas transmission system connection for manufacturers of biomethane, operators of liquefied natural gas system and natural gas users”.
By means of the new draft regulations, it is anticipated to improve the legal regulation for setting up natural gas system connections. The regulations define more clearly how natural gas users can connect to the natural gas transmission system. Till now, no restrictions were defined for connection to the transmission system, and the Energy Law prescribes that the provisions must be fair and equal.
"The Regulator doesn't change the present regulation on the substance, because no restrictions were defined for connection to the transmission system till now. This means that the Regulator doesn't create new rights as to the connection to the transmission system which are not already defined in the Energy Law. New regulations that would apply to the connection to transmission system must be approved because the Energy Law so prescribes and because the present regulations don't comprise the connection process as to the manufacturers of biomethane and operators of liquefied natural gas system,” says the Chair of Regulator Rolands Irklis.
"With the natural gas transmission system connection regulations approved by the Regulator, Latvia has joined those countries of European Union that implement the requirements of Europe regarding the implementation of free access to the transmission system. The nature of regulation is to provide the gas users with an option to decide, plan and implement the connection to the main gas pipe in places where it is technically possible and economically reasonable. Currently it is difficult to forecast how large activity we can expect, because the decision related with energy and infrastructure are not made within a short period, however, I'm sure that in long-term this option promotes the development of gasification in the territory of Latvia and the interest about gas as a resource. Conexus Baltic Grid as the manager of gas transmission system, just like till now, will work according to the requirements to ensure safe usage of the system. Soon we will publish the normative act base related with the new provisions at the website www.conexus.lv,” says Zane Kotāne, Chairwoman of the Board of JSC "Conexus Baltic Grid”.
Public consultation was announced and several presence discussions were organized before the approval of regulations in order to discuss draft regulations with market members. During the consultations then opinion was expressed by three that have given in total 19 comments. Completely all received comments that were expressed on the part of participants were carefully assessed by the Regulator from legal and economic aspects. Regulator has taken into account part of the suggestions and adjusted accordingly the edition of regulations.
Before approval of regulations, the Regulator performed an in-depth study regarding the potential influence on the payments of natural gas users and concluded that the provisions don't affect the current distribution system service tariffs - they remain unchanged.
"Regulations of natural gas transmission system connection for manufacturers of biomethane, operators of liquefied natural gas system and natural gas users” become effective on the following day after publishing in the official magazine "Latvijas Vēstnesis”.