What will be the result of the new energy law’s coming into effect?
From October, new regulations concerning obligatory stocks of gas are to come into effect. According to them, each business performing foreign trade in natural gas will have to store the stocks in the country, use ticketing service (currently in our country it is offered by PGNiG) or use warehouses outside of the country (in EFTA or EU countries). According to the bill’s statement of reasons, the goal of the proposed change is elimination of regulatory loopholes that lead to “leakage” of trade in natural gas beyond the borders of the Republic of Poland.
One of the main interpretative issues arising from the new regulation is that at the same time, pursuant to Article 37 of the amendments to the act on stocks, the volume of stocks will be established by the President of Energy Regulatory Office for the period from 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018, based on the data on the volume of imports in the period from 1 January 2017, i.e. the beginning of the year and for the period the stock keeping obligation was not obligatory.
Piotr Kasprzak, a board member of Hermes Energy Group, claims that entry into effect of the regulations on storing the substance will result in a fall in the number of importers and the volume of the gas imported to Poland. According to him, not all companies will be able, or want to, comply with the new regulations.
As he claims, the main source for obtaining natural gas in Poland will be Polish Power Exchange. In fact, it performs this role even today, but as Piotr Kasprzak stresses, once the new restrictions are introduced, it will sort of out of necessity the only source for obtaining the substance.
According to him, the worst consequence of the changes, that will probably take place, will be an increase in gas prices – PGNiG will want to push the increased costs onto their recipients. Although by recipients, he mostly means industry recipients, Kasprzak thinks it is possible the increased prices will affect household recipients as well. On the other hand, he explains that this will not have any effect on the level of substance market development, and only the end recipient will be forced to raise the costs increased by the obligation to stock gas. Estimating the price increase, Piotr Kasprzak gave the amount of 5-7 zlotys, noting that of course this is no the cost that will be covered only by the end recipients.