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BritNed receives unbundling certificate

The Netherlands finalises important part of the Third Energy Package

Transmission system operator BritNed Development Ltd. has received an unbundling certificate from the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM). BritNed has demonstrated to comply with the ‘unbundling requirements’. These requirements mandate that the transmission system operator makes a clear separation between energy transmission on the one hand, and energy production, supply and trade on the other.

BritNed operates the electricity cable between Maasvlakte in the Netherlands and the Isle of Grain in the UK. The length of this cable is approximately 250 kilometres. The cable enables electricity transport from the Netherlands to the UK, and vice versa.

A better-functioning European energy market

Under European legislation, ACM is to certify all operators of national and cross-border transmission networks. National transmission system operators TenneT and GTS have already received such certificates, as has interconnector BBL. Now that BritNed has also received a certificate, all Dutch operators of national or cross-border transmission systems have been certified. The Netherlands has thus finalised an important part of the implementation of the Third Energy Package. The Third Energy Package is a set of European rules that aim to improve the functioning of the internal energy market.

Unbundling contributes to a level playing field

The rules to separate energy transmission from energy production are laid down in European Directive 2009/72/EC. Such a separation is to prevent the transmission system operator from being able to favour one of its customers above another, by, for example, barring other customers, by making certain investments (or deliberately not making them), by failing to share commercially-sensitive information equally or by keeping such information secret. The aim is to have customers that are able to compete with one another on a level playing field when using BritNed’s infrastructure. In that situation, BritNed cannot have any interest of its own in distorting this level playing field.


In September 2012, BritNed submitted a certification request with ACM. In March 2014, ACM took the preliminary decision that BritNed complied with the requirements. ACM had to wait for the recommendation of the European Commission before it could take a final decision. The European Commission has now given a positive recommendation. Therefore, the decision to award the unbundling certificate can now be finalised.

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