Gasunie wins European gas prize

26 Jan 2012
  • European Gas Conference Award for ‘TSO of the Year’
  • ‘Gasunie driving force behind north-west European gas market’
  • Gasunie participations Gate Terminal and Nord Stream also among the prize winners

Gas infrastructure company Gasunie was declared ‘Transmisison System Operator of the Year’ at the European Gas Conference in Vienna. The jury awarded this award to Gasunie because the company has made an important contribution to the operation of the market and cross-border trade in gas in Europe.

Out of a strong international field of nominated network operators, the jury chose Gasunie because of the cross-border and innovative nature of its activities. These qualities are expressed, for instance, in its leading role in defining conditions for access to the grid, in lifting barriers to trade resulting from differences in gas quality and in introducing an innovative concept to link gas trading hubs in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark (the ‘Link4Hubs’ concept). The jury also mentioned the key international position of Gasunie as an independent gas infrastructure company in the Netherlands and Germany and, in particular, the efforts of Gasunie Deutschland in network operation.

Paul van Gelder: ‘The most important thing about a prize like this is that it is recognition of the work of our employees. Through their efforts and perseverance, they deliver a carefully formulated strategy which goes under the name ‘Crossing borders in energy’. This award confirms once again how important it is to keep an international focus in strategic thinking. That's also important for the Netherlands – from the perspective of both security of supply and the economy.’

Two companies in which Gasunie has a participating interest as a shareholder also came among the prize winners. Gate Terminal, co-developed by Gasunie and Vopak, is located on the Maasvlakte near Rotterdam and was opened by Queen Beatrix in September 2011, as the first import terminal for liquid natural gas (LNG) in the Netherlands. Gate Terminal was declared ‘LNG project of the year’, because ‘as an independent distribution point, the terminal enables European energy companies to respond to the growing demand for and declining production of natural gas in north-west Europe. The terminal strengthens security of supply and expand opportunities for new entrants to the European gas market.’

Nord Stream, the large pipeline project that crosses the Baltic Sea bed in which Gasunie holds a 9% share, also won a prize. This was for the outstanding way in which all aspects of this project – technical, logistical, financial, environmental, communications – were managed.

According to program director Sandra Haines, the European Gas Conference Award was devised to encourage businesses: ‘The shifting dynamics of the European gas industry mean that projects operating in the industry are continually required to develop robust and innovative strategies to stay ahead of the competition and ensure they are able to offer security of supply to the European market.