Regulator warns gas giant over access to infrastructure

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Latvia's energy regulator, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (SPKR), has issued a warning to gas utility Latvijas Gaze about denying the Latvenergo power supply company access to infrastructure that would allow buying gas from Lithuania, reported Latvian Radio Thursday.

Despite that Latvijas Gaze still holds a legal monopoly in Latvia, Latvian and EU laws stipulate that the utility should allow using its infrastructure for gas purchases abroad. That would include providing access to Lithuanian companies for gas deliveries to Estonia.

Latvenergo wanted to use the utility's infrastructure to transport gas bought in Lithuania for use at its power plants.

However the gas giant claimed that Latvenergo was trying to circumvent Latvijas Gaze's monopoly in the country. 

The regulator thought otherwise and could demand the company abides to the laws, issue a warning or slap a fine up to 10% of last year's neto turnover. It opted to warn the gas giant.

In March SPKR had launched an administrative case against Latvijas Gaze natural gas utility over the same dispute with Latvenergo.

In February this year Latvia adopted historic law amendments to support liberalization of the gas market, as well as rules on breaking up the Latvijas Gāze utility into two companies – one for operating the gas transmission and storage system and the other for dealing with natural gas distribution and sale – by April 3, 2017.

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