Our activities are governed by a number of principles, the most important of which is to contribute at all times to a properly functioning free gas market. All customers are treated equally (in a non-discriminatory, objective and reasonable fashion). When providing access to the system, we are committed to pursuing openness and transparency. We publish the available capacity for entry and exit points on the internet. Economic efficiency is a key priority in all our decisions. Of course, all our actions take account of the physical limitations of our transport network. Our customers can be broadly divided into two groups: shippers and connected parties (end users).
Not everyone is authorised to use our transport system. Only those who are recognised by us as ´shippers´ are allowed to contract transport services. To become a shipper you must:
- accept the standard GTS terms and conditions governing transport, together with the accompanying appendices. These terms and conditions can be found in the Transmission Service Conditions (TSC).
- have been deemed creditworthy by us or able to provide additional financial guarantees.
Special rules also apply to communication between the shipper and GTS. The parties have to be able to use an electronic messaging system. GTS must test and approve the shipper’s operational use of the system
Connected parties / end users
Over 1,100 companies and organisations are directly connected to the national gas transmission network. We refer to these companies and organisations as ‘connected parties’ or ‘end users’. These can be large industrial enterprises, power plants, producers or network companies in the Netherlands and in other countries. Most of these customers will buy the gas they need from a supplier. A shipper then ensures that the gas is delivered via our network to the connected party.
Connected parties may contract exit capacity without entry capacity. They transfer this exit capacity to the shipper who is going to deliver the gas to them. In such cases, connected parties are called 'connected parties with exit capacity'. Connected parties can also opt to transport gas through the GTS transport network themselves. Such entities are then not just connected parties, but also shippers since they have booked both entry and exit capacity.
Around 200 shippers have transport contracts with us. In other words, they have contracted capacity at an entry and exit point (see entry and exit system). A shipper therefore brings a specific volume of natural gas into our ‘GTS system’, at an entry point that has been contracted with GTS and removes the same volume of natural gas from a contracted exit point (= transport). Sometimes a shipper has also booked other services with us, such as flexibility.
The illustration above shows the contract structure for gas transport in the Netherlands.
Left: we have concluded a Connection Agreement with connected parties. The connected parties in turn have a delivery contract with a supplier.
Centre: the contract between the shippers and GTS is governed by the terms and conditions set out in the Transmission Service Conditions (TSC). A shipper has a delivery contract with a supplier (or is itself a supplier of natural gas).
Right: local distribution companies (LDCs) are also connected to the GTS network and are therefore also classed as grid connections. The LDCs transport the gas through their own networks to the end users (households, offices, etc.), which have concluded Connection and Transport Contracts with them. The end user has also concluded a delivery contract with a supplier. Most households have a contract with a Supplier that includes their connection and transport costs and have therefore not concluded separate connection and transport contracts.