EU mulls capping gas price at biggest trading hub – media
Brussels is exploring an emergency mechanism aimed at curbing the price of natural gas by setting a cap on transactions on the Dutch Title Transfer Facility, Bloomberg reported on Sunday, citing a draft proposal from the European Commission.
According to the report, the EU plans to set a maximum “dynamic price” at which gas transactions on the hub can take place. Its main index, the TTF, is a benchmark for all gas traded in the bloc.
The measure would allow Brussels to intervene in cases in which gas prices reach extreme levels, while not hurting supply, the document said. The emergency price cap is expected to last no longer than three months.
“This will help avoid extreme volatility and price hikes, as well as speculation which could lead to difficulties in the supply of natural gas to some member states,” the document stated. The list of measures is also to include a temporary intra-day price cap option to “ensure sounder price formation” and defend the region’s energy companies from large price increases.
Adoption of the draft proposal is reportedly scheduled for Tuesday, October 18. However, Reuters later reported that EU ambassadors will discuss it at an extraordinary meeting in Luxembourg later on Monday.
The news of the proposal comes ahead of an EU summit in Brussels scheduled for October 21-22, in which member states will discuss solutions for the energy crisis. Gas prices have soared in Europe after Russian supplies dropped dramatically over the past months amid the sanctions and technical issues. EU countries have been at odds over how to reign the prices in, and the gas price cap proposal has been the most controversial.
“Impatience is growing with member states… So we changed gear and put everything that is being floated... on the table. It is a way of putting pressure on the Commission to come up with the most concrete possible proposals,” an EU diplomat told Reuters.
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