Approved the law for the natural gas sector that paves the way for TAP

Approved the law for the natural gas sector that paves the way for TAP

trans adriatic pipeline tapProductive Activities Commission today approved the draft of the natural gas sector, which aims to improve the management of this strategic sector for the Albanian economy. This law also will ensure the development of strategic projects in the gas sector, such as the TAP project, IAP project, etc.

During the design phase are taken into account and are reflected recent developments in the Albanian legislation that directly or indirectly related to the gas sector.
It is especially taken into consideration and found reflection legal and regulatory framework for the development of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline project (TAP project), ensuring in this new bill continuity and stability in legislative terms.

As concerns the gas sector legislation, the scope of its activity is not included for the production of gas, in terms of a regulated activity and to be licensed by the ERE. In the case of gas, given that we are dealing with a natural energy source involved in hydrocarbons (whether natural gas or as accompanying gas) for its production activity is regulated by law “On the research and production of hydrocarbons”.

The draft law “On Natural Gas Sector” aimed at amending the existing law of 2008, under the implementation of the Third Energy Package of the European Union, in terms of development, liberalization and market sector and the interconnection of natural gas. This legislative initiative was prepared with the assistance of the Energy Community Secretariat, but has been considered and included almost entirely existing gas law.

This bill (with 9 chapters and 117 articles) consists of two main pillars:

-. The organization and functioning of the gas market as a regulated market, which according to the Third Energy Package of the EU’s natural gas sector, will be a market “fully open / liberalized”.

-. Construction and operation of infrastructure and installations of gas (including technical and technological) for the supply, transportation, storage and distribution of natural gas, which is essentially the main role in terms of organization and the executive but also has supervisory Ministry and the structures and institutions composed and under its supervision.

Through this new bill are predicting significant changes in the legal framework for the gas sector, changes that include:
– Conservation and ensuring legal and institutional stability.
– Specification of responsibilities and powers of the PM and the Ministry responsible for energy sector.
– Increasing the role and responsibilities of Commissioners mainly about the monitoring of the market, competition and consumer protection. ERE in this bill is designed in a new dimension by cooperating closely with the Ministry in connection with monitoring the market but always without interfering with the powers of another institution.
– Review and revision of some articles of the current gas law (eg “Combined operator”, “Measurement of natural gas”), also due to considering the specifications, connections and size of developments that may this gas sector in Albania.
– Definitions for the preparation of regulations for the activity of underground gas storage and liquefied natural gas.
– Regulation of ownership issues in the activity of natural gas, setting exactly the rights group affected, as dealing with infrastructure and related installations.
– Increased cooperation between the entities, state bodies involved in this law.
– Re-evaluation of the report of the central executive bodies in some activities more clearly defining the authority of the Council of Ministers, the Ministry responsible for energy, or ERE.

– Determination Program Officer and compliance, which is a new and more important to formulate for the first time in this bill, as required by EU legislation, setting out the rules to guarantee the transparency of transactions, independence of operators (TSOs and DSO).
– Has been added as a new chapter, “The market natural gas and market regulations and the system”, where in addition to organizing the market and trade of natural gas in an article on its own are also included measures to promote the market opening that and it constitutes one of the main goals of the Third Energy Package of the EU.

In terms of organization and functioning of the gas sector in Albania, in this bill has some specific features that make up the difference from other areas of the energy sector, thus:
– There is only one operator Transmission System (TSO) for gas at the country level, but provided and enable the existence and functioning of some s TSOs gas, so the System Operator (DSO) of gas to forecast some such nationwide.

– It included the role of function “combined Operator”, which reflects how relevant and concrete developments in the gas sector in Albania, as well as specifics on the size and capacity is expected to have gas market in Albania.

– They are fully involved and issues of oversight and inspection in terms of technical and technological safety for construction, use and maintenance of plant and gas infrastructure sector including supply, transportation, storage, and distribution of natural gas. It is not only clearly defined the role of the Ministry in this regard, but also the role and function of the State Inspectorate responsible for the gas sector.

It is taken into consideration and reflected the fact that activities associated with natural gas, but are activities related to fuels, as are the activities dealing with equipment, installations and plants under pressure.

Also in the preparation of this bill have been considered and are reflected in the measure that was considered reasonable and was rated in accordance with legal logic, the comments of stakeholders and ministries, for which we can say that they are taken into account most of the comments made.

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