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Havrilet: BRM and OPCOM will be able to trade gas at September-end, at the latest

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The National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) granted licences to the Romanian Commodity Exchange (BRM) and OPCOM - the electricity centralised market operator - for conducting the first trades with natural gas, starting with the end of September, ANRE President Niculae Havrilet told a specialised conference.

'In the case of natural gas there is a more complicated situation, because we aim to even the domestic production gas price with the price of the imported gas. The first gas transactions on the Romanian Commodity Exchange and on OPCOM could be conducted before the end of September. We approved all procedures for them,' Havrilet said.

According to an ANRE President order, the Romanian Commodity Exchange will collect 1,000 lei for each gas sale or purchase offer, in the form of an administration rate of the natural gas centralised market. Moreover, each participant on the market must pay an entry fee applied upon the registration of the participants on the centralised market, accounting for 450 lei per year.

In July, ANRE granted licences both to BRM and to OPCOM, to be able to become gas exchange markets.

The organisation of a centralised gas trading market was one of the conditions the International Monetary Fund (IMF) demanded, in the context of the complete liberalisation of the Romanian gas market until 2018.

The gas market for non-household consumers will be liberalised by December 31, 2015, and for the household consumers the regulated tariffs will be gradually eliminated by the end of 2018. Only the vulnerable customers will still pay prices established by ANRE, the rest of the consumers going to negotiate the rates directly with the supplier.

At present, Romania ensures 75 percent of the nationwide consumption from the domestic production, the rest coming from imports from Russia.

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