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EU Energy Platform: inaugural Industry Advisory Group meeting in the books

The newly established Industry Advisory Group (IAG) supporting the EU Energy Platform held its inaugural meeting on 26 October. After an initial exchange with Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, the meeting confirmed the group’s mandate and provided an opportunity for a more detailed discussion on the practical and operational issues relating to joint purchases of natural gas.

Commissioner Simson outlined the EU measures already defined to improve the resilience of our energy system during these exceptional times. She also addressed the legislative proposal from 18 October that offers additional measures aiming at providing solutions for swift relief to the impact of high energy prices and introduces the EU legal framework allowing for the joint purchasing of gas.

During the meeting, the members of the IAG provided valuable feedback, including advice on the operationalisation of the different options for joint purchasing of gas and industrial cooperation mechanisms through which the EU can secure better prices and avoid over-bidding.

“By laying the ground for demand aggregation and joint purchases, our latest legislative proposal will allow us to leverage the EU’s collective power on the global gas market. We are now working together on the practicalities to make the joint buying a reality, for companies across the EU and Energy Community Contracting Parties”, said Commissioner Kadri Simson.

The aim of the IAG is to provide the Commission with the energy industry’s perspective to operationalise the joint purchasing of gas and meet the objectives of the EU Energy Platform. The Group is expected to meet again in November.

Industry’s perspective

The Group’s members include regional companies from both within and outside the EU – including Romania’s OMV Petrom, Naftogaz of Ukraine, Hungary’s MVM Energetika, the Polish Oil and Gas Company PGNiG and Croatia’s Energia Naturalis (ENNA).

For the Energy Community Secretariat, the EU Energy Platform can be a very useful tool, especially for Ukraine and Moldova. However, as underlined by Franck Neel, a Member of the Executive Board of OMV Petrom, the biggest challenge so far is to jointly purchase LNG for the next storage season in 2023.

Other European entities related to the region include the European Energy Exchange (EEX), which announced its membership in the Group via Twitter. In addition, the gas association European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG) holds an Observer status in the Group.

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