Market model

Since 1 January 2013 the gas market in Austria is divided into three market areas: East, Tyrol and Vorarlberg. Whereas only the Market Area East comprises transmission lines. The distribution areas in each market area exclusively comprise distribution systems.

AGGM is responsible for coordinating system operation which includes the establishing a uniform methodology for the calculation and announcement of capacity at the entry/exit point and for coordinating the development and maintenance of the transmission and distribution network. Apart from these rather technical responsibilities, AGGM manages the balance groups operating in the Eastern market area. Each customer is a direct or indirect (i.e. via their supplier) member of a balance group.

According to the entry/exit system, capacities can be booked and traded independently of each other at the entry and exit points. On the basis of these capacity bookings at the entry points, the traders and suppliers have the right to inject gas into the transmission network of the respective market area and transport it to the market area’s virtual trading point (VTP). The capacity bookings at the exit points entitle the holders to transport gas from the virtual trading point and to withdraw it from the transmission network. The virtual trading point, which is not assigned to a physical entry or exit point, enables market participants to purchase and sell natural gas without having to book capacity. Gas can be injected at an entry point regardless of whether gas is withdrawn at the exit point and vice versa, thanks to the coordination – and active balancing where required – of all gas transports in the market area by AGGM. In order to assure network stability AGGM is entitled to curtail nominations of balance groups. Details can be found here.  

Distribution Area

AGGM books and utilizes the entry and exit capacities in the market area between the transmission and distribution systems in order to ensure uninterrupted handover to the suppliers respectively the final customers. In addition, AGGM is responsible for coordinating the entry and exit capacities at the cross-border interconnection points within the distribution area and oversees the gas transports to the production and storage facilities. AGGM controls the gas flow and is responsible for pressure maintenance within the distribution area.

Data Transfer

A strictly formalised, automatic exchange of gas flow data takes place among the various market participants (market area managers, distribution area managers, transmission system operators, distribution system operators, balance groups and suppliers as well as operators of virtual trading points). The data exchange with the TSO and the relevant form can be found here. Furthermore, we provide further information on data transfer and examples for messages in the MA East.

Balancing

The individual gas flows for the intended injections and withdrawals are allocated to the participants, and balancing energy is used (ex ante) by AGGM to make up for imbalances. In order to provide an incentive for BGRs to have a balanced portfolio, AGGM charges an incentive mark-up. By accepting balancing energy offers from the gas exchange at the VTP and the merit order list of the balance group coordinator, AGGM continuously balances the scheduled capacities and those actually consumed, thus ensuring system stability and security of supply in the distribution areas. The actual delivery and consumption quantities as well as any imbalances encountered are, as previously, allocated by the balance group coordinator (ex post).

Chart - Eastern market area model:

 

COSIMA

The COSIMA gas market model was successfully established in the Tyrol and Vorarlberg market areas as of 1 October 2013, in this way connecting the Tyrol and Vorarlberg market areas to the NetConnect Germany (NCG) gas market. COSIMA was required because the Tyrol and Vorarlberg market areas are not connected to the Eastern market area, but do have physical access to the NCG market area. Although there are specific regulations for the Tyrol and Vorarlberg market areas, they largely correspond to those applicable the Eastern market area. As part of COSIMA, AGGM books exit capacities with the upstream transmission operator in Germany and withdraws balancing energy from the German NCG market area. The transfer of the gas for Tyrol and Vorarlberg takes place through nomination at NCG’s VTP. AGGM accepts the gas at the German VTP and arranges its transport to the Tyrol and Vorarlberg market areas. In line with the ‘allocated as nominated’ principle, gas flows handed over at the German VTP are considered injected directly in the Tyrol or Vorarlberg market areas. There are no other distinctive features to be taken into account by the German balancing groups regarding transports to the Tyrol and Vorarlberg market areas. The gas transfer from the German balancing groups at the German VTP are allocated to the corresponding balancing groups in Austria. The schedule messages relating to the supply to consumers in Tyrol and Vorarlberg that are submitted by these balancing groups are netted and set off against the gas flows transferred at the German VTP by the corresponding balancing groups in each case. These gas volumes are subject to the mechanisms for settling balancing energy as specified by the Austrian market rules. The competent balance group coordinator is responsible for settling balancing energy. In addition, the tasks of the balance group coordinator include the management of the balance groups in the Tyrol and Vorarlberg market areas. 

Chart – COSIMA market model