Natural Gas Transmission System Operator
10.04.2015
AB Amber Grid Was Issued With An Open-ended Gas Transmission System Operator's Licence

Pursuant to applicable provisions of the European Union's (hereinafter – the EU) Third Energy Package, which obligates EU member states to unbundle their gas transmission activities from natural gas companies engaged in gas production and supply activities, on 10 April 2015, the procedure for the certification of Lithuania's Natural Gas Transmission System Operator, AB Amber Grid, was successfully completed.

The National Commission for Energy Control and Prices (hereinafter – the NCC), in the light of the opinion of the European Commission (hereinafter – the EC), on 10 April 2015, issued a statement that AB Amber Grid's gas transmission business ownership unbundling model was broadly consistent with applicable provisions of the EU Third Energy Package and the Republic of Lithuania Law Natural Gas. AB Amber Grid was issued with an open-ended gas transmission business license and was designated as the Transmission System Operator.

This decision means that both the National Regulatory Authority and the European Commission have officially recognised AB Amber Grid's full compliance with the applicable legislative provisions of the EU and the Republic of Lithuania in respect of natural gas transmission system operators with regard to unbundling of activities, transparency and independence.

The Law on Natural Gas stipulates that the activities of gas transmission, distribution and supply are subject to licensing. Upon the completion of the legal, functional and organisational unbundling of the natural gas sector back in 2013, with effect from 1 August 2013, the NCC issued in respect of AB Amber Grid a Natural Gas Transmission Operator's license with a fixed validity period entitling it to engage in natural gas transmission operations throughout the entire territory of the Republic of Lithuania.

On 13 January 2015, the NCC issued a statement that AB Amber Grid's transmission business ownership unbundling was implemented in compliance with the applicable provisions of the Law on Natural Gas and that AB Amber Grid could be designated as the Transmission System Operator. This decision by the NCC and the supporting documents were submitted for approval to the EC, which reviewed the documents and issued respective conclusions.

"Following the completion of the important process for the certification of the Natural Gas Transmission System Operator, we were the first from amongst the TSOs of the Baltic States to be recognised as a transparent and reliable European gas market participant and a one that is unconstrained by any vested interests. This decision paves the way for a full-fledged membership of AB Amber Grid in the European Union's Gas Transmission System Operators' Association, the ENTSO-G. The issuance of an open-ended transmission license is a logical step towards the attainment of our strategic objectives –  full-fledged  integration of Lithuania's Natural Gas Transmission System into a single gas market of the European Union and implementation of Lithuania's national and pan-European energy goals," said Saulius Bilys, CEO of AB Amber Grid.

The aim of the Third Energy Package of the EU is to create an efficient energy market, to ensure compliance with uniform pan-European operating standards and to secure high-level supply reliability for consumers of the European Union.

AB Amber Grid, that has been granted an open-ended transmission operator's license, will become a 45th certified member of the ENTSO-G, an association uniting natural gas transmission system operators of 23 European member states.

Background Information on AB Amber Grid

The Gas Transmission System Operator, AB Amber Grid, is important to the national security of Lithuania. The company is responsible for transmission of natural gas, for operation and maintenance of Lithuania's Gas Transmission Pipeline System, for securing safe and reliable operations and development of the Gas Transmission System.

A total of 96.58 per cent of AB Amber Grid shares are owned by EPSO-G, a company controlled by the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania. Since 1 August 2013,  shares of AB Amber Grid  are listed on the Secondary List of the  Stock Exchange NASDAQ OMX Vilnius.
 

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