The Austrian gas market
Since 1 January 2013, the Austrian gas market has been divided into three market areas: East, Tyrol and Vorarlberg. All three market areas have distribution pipeline systems. Only the market area East also includes transmission pipelines. AGGM acts as market area manager for the market area East and as distribution area manager for the market areas East, Tyrol and Vorarlberg.
As market and distribution area manager, AGGM coordinates network control, prepares calculation schemes to determine and designate capacities at entry and exit points and coordinates the expansion and maintenance of long-distance and distribution pipelines.
In the course of gas market liberalisation, the balance group model was introduced in Austria. A balancing group is a virtual grouping of network users within which a balance is struck between supply and demand (balancing). Balance group members are e.g. gas traders, holders of transport rights (capacity holders), gas suppliers and end customers. Suppliers are companies that supply end customers with gas. All end customers are members of a balancing group either directly or indirectly (via their supplier).
In the Austrian market areas, an entry-exit system is operated for the entry and exit of gas. Gas traders or suppliers can book and trade capacities at entry and exit points independently of each other.
Capacities entitle the entry and exit of gas into and out of a market area. In the Market Area East, capacities additionally enable transport to or from a virtual trading point (VTP) within the market area. The virtual trading point is not assigned to a physical entry or exit point and enables market participants to trade natural gas even without booking capacity. The delivery at entry points and the withdrawal at exit points can be carried out independently of each other.
In the distribution area, AGGM books and manages the entry and exit capacities between the transmission and distribution networks. This ensures an uninterrupted transition there for the suppliers and their customers. AGGM enables the marketing of entry and exit capacities at the cross-border interconnection points in the distribution network. AGGM also controls the gas flow and is responsible for maintaining pressure in the distribution area.
Balancing group representatives (BGR) transmit - depending on the portfolio - the following transport notifications to system operators:
- Nominations in the transmission system (entry/exit) to transmission system operators
- Storage or production nominations to storage or production respectively
- Trading nominations or exchange orders at the virtual trading point (VTP) to VTP operators or gas exchanges
- Nominations at cross-border interconnection points to market and distribution area managers (MADAM) in the distribution area ("small cross-border traffic")
- Wholesale schedules to MADAM (hourly individual schedule per LPM customer greater than 50,000 kWh/h for network control purposes and per LPM customer greater than 25,000 kWh/h, if opted into hourly allocation)
- No schedule registration for end consumers and feeders of renewable gases (with the exception of wholesale schedules).
The AGGM platform is the transparency portal for a wide range of gas industry data and information.
Important data on the market area status are published in the public data monitor on the AGGM platform:
Market area balance (over- / under-delivery of the market area).
- Balancing energy quantities
- End-customer consumption
- Network buffer utilisation
- Storage level
Balancing group representatives can view individual information on the balancing group status in the login area of the AGGM platform:
- Allocated nominations
- Allocations for standard load profile (SLP) and load profile meter (LPZ) of metered end customers
- Feed-in quantities of renewable gas generation plants
- Balance group or allocation status
The data quality increases as a function of time:
- Preliminary (intraday)
- Updated (on the following day)
- Relevant for settlement (1st clearing)
- Relevant for settlement (2nd clearing)
Market model Cosima
market areas Tyrol and VorarlbergThe COSIMA market model was established in the Tyrol and Vorarlberg market areas.
COSIMA stands for Crossborder Operating Strongly Integrated Market Area.
It enables the connection of the two Western Austrian market areas to the German market area Trading Hub Europe (THE).
This is necessary because the Tyrol and Vorarlberg market areas are not connected to the Eastern market area, but have physical access to the German market area THE.
Capacity bookingAGGM books exit capacities with the German transmission companies in the market area THE.
The gas quantities destined for Tyrol or Vorarlberg are transferred by nomination at the VTP of the market area THE.
AGGM takes over the gas quantities at the German VTP and organises the transport to the Tyrol and Vorarlberg market areas.
In accordance with the principle "allocated as nominated", the gas quantities transferred are immediately deemed to have been delivered to Tyrol or Vorarlberg.
BalancingFrom the perspective of German balancing groups, there are no special features for transports to the market areas Tyrol and Vorarlberg.
The transfers of gas quantities at the German VTP by the German balancing groups are allocated to the corresponding balancing groups in Austria.
Gas quantities of these balancing groups for end customer supply in Tyrol and Vorarlberg, but also for transit, are netted.
These are then compared with the gas quantities transferred at the German VTP by the corresponding balancing groups.
Balancing energyIn accordance with the Austrian Market Rules, the mechanisms of balancing energy settlement are applied to the transferred gas quantities.
The settlement of the balancing energy is carried out by the responsible balancing agency.
AGGM also procures balancing energy in the German market area THE.