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NMa: Dutch national network operator for natural gas GTS must increase efficiency by 5 per cent

The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) expects Dutch national network operator for natural gas Gastransportservices (GTS) to increase efficiency by more than 5 per cent. That is the conclusion after the NMa has earlier today announced the efficiency-stimulating tariff cuts, or the so-called x-factors. An efficiency stimulating tariff cut is a tool to stimulate energy network operators (monopolists by nature) to increase efficiency. The x-factors for the period of 2009-2012 apply to the following tasks of GTS: Transport, Balancing and Quality Conversion. The weighted average of these x-factors is 5.4 per cent.

The NMa regulates GTS' tariffs as part of its regulatory duties. Announcing the efficiency-stimulating tariff cuts is the second step in the NMa's regulatory process. In December 2008, the NMa issued the method decisions (in Dutch), in which the calculation methods have been laid down for calculating these tariff cuts. Based on the efficiency-stimulating tariff cuts, GTS will be setting new tariffs for the period of 2009-2012 and will be proposing them to the NMa. GTS charges shippers and large buyers these tariffs. The Office of Energy Regulation is expecting to rule on GTS' tariff proposal by July 1st, 2009. If so, the NMa will be able to set the tariffs for July 1st, 2009.

Directly interested parties have the opportunity to file objections against the decisions within six weeks.