A proposition to open natural gas markets to competition from a working group at the Finnish Ministry of Employment and Economy

A working group set up by the Ministry of Employment and Economy has released a long and thorough report on the 21st of January 2016, presented in the form of a legislative proposal. The written report proposes the complete renewal of Finland’s national Natural Gas Market Act 508/2000 and opening the closed natural gas markets to competition. Finnish gas markets have remained closed on grounds of an exception provision in the valid EU gas market directives. The proposed legislative reforms in question are a needed precondition for the gas pipe connection project between Finland and Estonia.

The aim of opening the natural gas market in Finland to competition is to encourage the favorable development of natural gas industry, lower customer prices and simultaneously improve the security of energy supply in Finland. The changes brought along by the renewed natural gas market act will be implemented gradually in smaller stages. First renewed provisions will enter into force on the 1st of January 2017 and currently it is planned that the entire legislative procedure will be completed by 2020, by which the natural gas markets have successfully been opened to continental Europe.

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