Regulations & infrastructure: Working hand-in-hand to support CEE gas

Karolina Cegir's picture
Karolina Cegir, Gas Expert, Energy Community Secretariat
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The Energy Community is an international organisation, bringing together the European Union and its neighbours to create an integrated pan-European energy market. As key countries in the region along with the European Commission sign an MoU to invest in infrastructure and cross-border interconnections; it is a time of change and progression for the market.

With the CEE Gas Conference taking place in March, Gastech Insights interviewed Gas Expert at Energy Community Secretariat, Karolina Cegir, to unearth the latest on the region’s projects and their developments.

Gastech Insights: Can you give us an update on the progress towards an interconnected CEE market and what more needs to happen?

Karolina Cegir: The most progressive country in the region has been Albania, despite still being without a gas market. They have taken significant steps to speedy settling of the legal framework and market structure. This is all towards future market developments, as soon as Trans Adriatic Pipeline brings the first gas supply into the country.  Although the markets of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Serbia have shown signs of struggle with basic elements of Third Package implementation, for example, TSO unbundling and transparent and non-discriminatory TPA to interconnection points, there has been some interesting updates and developments.

The FYR of Macedonia has just recently re-started to develop a legal basis in line with EU acquis and is proactively looking to interconnect their gas network with neighbouring countries. An additional challenge is the underdeveloped and non-interconnected transmission networks in Western Balkan countries, which cannot be solved only with participation in big international new projects. I believe the interconnectivity can be increased with some bilateral actions as well.

Gastech Insights: As LNG imports increase, has the balance of power shifted regarding gas supplies in the CEE region?

Karolina Cegir: The CEE region needs diversification of the gas sources and routes, and LNG would perfectly fit into it this. However, the level of market prices will play a decisive role. In addition to this, LNG needs pipelines and available interconnection capacities to reach national markets – and those are currently not very well connected in CEE. This is why LNG is a welcome newcomer to the region but has not had a significant impact on the region, yet.

Gastech Insights: In your opinion, what projects are likely to have a profound and long-lasting effect on the region’s gas industry?

Karolina Cegir: When looking at the region there are 3 projects which really stand out for me:

  1. The opening of the Trans-Balkan transit route’ capacity to third parties can have the most significant impact on the gas industry in South-East Europe. This will unlock a huge existing capacity, allowing gas from existing present sources – such as LNG from Revythousa – to diversify the CEE region. 
  2. BRUAgas pipeline, when Black Sea production will be realised, will bring new gas to the CEE region. This project will strengthen the Romanian gas network capacity as well as the interconnections.  
  3. The Trans Atlantic Pipeline (TAP) will be the first new pipeline after decades, crossing over new areas. This is certain to have an effect on the region by not only bringing new gas but also passing ‘gas infrastructure virgin’ areas.

Gastech Insights: What can attendees of the CEE Gas Conference expect to take away in March 2018?

Karolina Cegir: The event allows attendees to gain an inside view into the state of play of CEE gas markets by industry experts and be updated on the upcoming and ongoing projects. Also, attendees can hear about new trends and see old issues from the new perspectives.

Share your insights and join the conversation: What projects do you believe will have a profound and long-lasting effect on the region’s gas industry? Leave your comment below.

Register for the CEE Gas Conference in March, 7-8th, to hear Janez Kopac from Energy Community Secretariat participate in a keynote panel on “The Energy Community & CESEC – Bridging the border between EU & non-EU countries”. View the complete agenda here.