Chunks of a Ministry of Environment–piloted bid to reward Czech power companies, primarily state-controlled ČEZ, with free carbon emissions allowances in return for investments in cleaner electricity production have been rejected by Brussels officials with another problem stemming from concerns that Czech bid will excessively boost ČEZ’s market position.
Czech power giant ČEZ says it will sound out its peers, including European rivals, as possible partners for the expansion of Temelín. France’s EdF is already tipped as a possible frontrunner with Asian interest also suggested.
Gaz-System, the gas transit system operator in Poland, reportedly could make a bid for its counterpart in the Czech Republic, Net4Gas, which together already plan to build a new pipeline between the countries in a bid to further weaken Russian control over the key energy source.
Prague City Hall took a first step towards buying out its fellow shareholder in the Czech capital’s gas distribution company, German power giant E.ON, by ordering a valuation of Pražská Plynárenská. But is the move such a good idea when the council is seeking to curb its deficit? Vratislav Ludvík puts the case for the city to make a wholehearted dash for the gas distribution business.
In spite of tough market conditions and a continued squeeze on margins, gas sales, and customers, the Czech Republic’s biggest gas company, RWE Transgas, returned to profit in 2011, according to its German parent company. RWE repeated its intention to offload its Czech pipeline company Net4Gas in spite of a scaled down program of divestments to reduce its overall debt.
Gazprom’s statement that it wants to bypass Ukraine for all its natural gas exports to the West put a question mark over the value of Czech gas pipeline company Net4Gas, one of whose main pieces of infrastructure is the Soviet-era pipeline bringing gas through Slvoakia and Ukraine. German power giant RWE is mulling whether to offload Net4Gas as part of debt reduction moves, but Gazprom intention’s are clearly a key factor in the final price.
Just as the previous Czech government gambled (and lost) on solar subsidies, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Petr Nečas (Civic Democrats, ODS) is pressing ahead to secure a green future regardless of the cost (in more ways than one). The proposed ‘green bonus’ for biomethane of up to Kč 4,000 per MWh will undermine the competitive position of natural gas in relation to far-less environmentally friendly fossil fuels, the Energy Regulatory Office head says.
ČEZ financial director Martin Novák, recently promoted to become deputy board chairman of the Czech power giant, probably put his foot in it when he said Wednesday night that the country’s main natural gas pipeline company, NET4GAS, is up for sale. The German power company that owns it has insisted no decision has yet been taken.
Just before midday on Tuesday in Lubmin on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made a symbolic turn of a large tap to launch commercial operation of the first of two lines of the Nord Stream — the world’s longest submarine gas pipeline. The dynamics of the European gas market will never be the same.
The future of Czech natural gas pipeline operator NET4GAS is still in the balance with parent company RWE Transgas and German owner RWE denying reports a decision had already been taken to sell it as part of a massive divestment program. The Czech Republic's bigest natural gas company has decided to freeze a project for its first gas-fired power plant in the country.