Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) European companies selling natural gas will be able to jointly buy gas through the EU Energy Platform, the European Commission from April 25.
Companies need to register their gas purchase needs via the AggregateEU mechanism in order to prepare for the joint purchasing of gas at the EU level.
The gas storage and joint gas purchasing targets were first agreed upon in 2022 as emergency measures to address the severance of energy supply from Russia. With the move, the EU intended to reduce price volatility and ensure secure and predictable energy supplies.
EU Energy Platform
AggregateEU is the EU’s mechanism for gas demand aggregation and joint purchasing. Tt was set up as a central component of the EU Energy Platform, in support of the EU’s efforts to find energy alternatives.
The new mechanism aims to ensure sufficient gas supplies, whilst also reducing the risk of companies outbidding each other on the global market.
“This is a key milestone for the EU to prepare for next winter by refilling its gas storage in a coordinated and timely manner, using its collective market power to negotiate better prices with international suppliers,” reads a statement from the Commission.
Registered companies have one week, until May 2, to respond to this first call for demand aggregation. After the individual companies’ demands have been submitted, the required volumes will be aggregated and put out to tender on the global market.
Once the AggregateEU mechanism matches the collective European demand with offers from international gas suppliers, the participating companies will enter into negotiations with suppliers on the contractual terms for the purchase and delivery of the gas.
The first purchase agreements are expected before the summer. Despite launching the platform, the Commission said it will not play any role in the negotiations.
In light of the energy crisis sweeping the bloc, EU countries have committed to participate in demand aggregation for a minimum of 15% of their national gas storage targets, representing around 13.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
Nonetheless, companies wanting to participate after the summer will be able to do so, as the process will be running every two months over the next 12-month period.
So far, 76 companies have registered and 11 companies are ready to engage on negotiations to buy gas.
The Commission said it contracted service provider Prisma European Capacity Platform to establish the demand aggregation and joint purchasing mechanism through an online platform, which is accessible to companies from EU countries and Energy Community contracting parties.
According to the EU executive, Ukraine, Moldova and Serbia have so far expressed interest in taking part.