The volume of natural gas transmitted by the unified natural gas transmission and storage system operator JSC “Conexus Baltic Grid” (Conexus) in the first half of 2020 has increased by 15% when compared to the period in 2019 and has reached 17 TWh, according to the company's financial report for the first six months of this year.
In the first six-month period of 2020, Conexus ensured continuous supply of natural gas for the needs of Latvia and neighbouring countries. Higher performance levels than before are achieved both in natural gas transmission and storage segments during this half-year, which was positively influenced by the opening of the unified natural gas market on 1 January.
The Estonia-Finland interconnection 'Balticconnector', which was opened last year and is integrated into the unified natural gas market, has been one of the factors for increasing the volume of the transmission segment, enabling the supply of natural gas to users in Finland of 4.4 TWh. At the same time, the atypically warm weather conditions in Latvia had a significant impact on the demand for natural gas for heating purposes, resulting in a decrease in the volume of natural gas transmitted for the needs of Latvia by 19% when compared to the previous year and reached 6 TWh. Despite this, the total volume of natural gas transmitted in the first six months of the year, compared to 2019, has increased by 15%, reaching 17 TWh.
Jānis Eisaks, Chairman of the Board of Conexus: "The first six months of this year have marked positive changes in both segments of our activities. Along with the more favourable natural gas prices, the unified market and the integration between the countries comprising it have been an important factor influencing the results. The growing volume of transmitted natural gas, as well as the interest of market participants in Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage, strengthens our position, confirms the strategic role of Conexus in the region and demonstrates the need to further strengthen it, thus generating benefits not only for the Latvian, but also for the region's energy sector as a whole.”
Thanks to the operation of the unified market, the interest in services offered by Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage has increased in the storage segment. This is evidenced by the volume of reservations made by market participants for the next natural gas injection season 2020/2021, which is 7 times the total storage capacity of 21,525 TWh in the following season.
At the beginning of the year, Conexus organized an auction for the third time regarding the storage and provision of availability of active natural gas at Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage during the season 2020/2021, which is necessary to ensure the supply of natural gas in Latvia energy crisis or national threat. The received tenders exceeded significantly the required auction volume in comparison with the previous year, thereby significantly reducing the total cost of the auction. As a result, the fee for the use of exit point for the supply of natural gas users in Latvia will decrease by 4,9% from 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2021.