Estonian 'Elenger' to enter Latvian gas supply market

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On May 1, Latvia's natural gas market in the household segment will be entered by the Estonian natural gas and electricity vendor Eesti gaas subsidiary company in Latvia SIA “Elenger”, Latvian Radio reported on March 30.

The cost of natural gas supplies to households is currently regulated and calculated based on a methodology approved by the Public Services Regulatory Commission (SPRK). As of May 1, the natural gas market will be open and gas will be delivered to households at market price.

Two companies currently provide supplies of natural gas to households in Latvia – Latvijas Gāze and Latvenergo. As of May 1, “Elenger” will also be involved in this segment. It has been supplying gas to companies in Latvia for approximately five years. “Elenger” supplies gas directly from the producer, the Norwegian company Equinor, and the company has access to both LNG terminals in Klaipeda and Inkoo in Finland.

"Our supply is mainly focused on those who use natural gas for heating. It is a group of customers whose costs increased most rapidly in the previous year, while it is now possible to get the most savings. For an average household that consumes natural gas in heating, the savings will be around €500 to €800 a year," Dāvis Skulte, chairman of the Board of Elenger, commented on the proposed tariffs.

Although the full opening of the natural gas market will take place on May 1, the government intends to adopt the regulatory framework only the next week. Regulatory delays will not affect the company's plans.

Gunars Valdmanis, executive director of the Latvian Association of Electrical Engineers, said competition in the natural gas market for households has also not been limited until May 1. “Companies were already allowed to offer natural gas to households without restrictions in advance, but in view of the set price ceiling, it may not have been so attractive,” explained Valdmanis.

He estimated that the market would not experience very radical changes after May 1, but there would be new opportunities in the household segment to offer significantly different contracts, which may not differ so much in price, but on other conditions that could be relevant for some consumers.

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