October 31, 2018 / 10:33 AM / 2 months ago

France's unified wholesale gas marketplace to launch on Nov. 1

Flames from a gas burner on a cooker are seen February 1, 2017 in this illustration photo taken in a private home in Nice, France. Picture taken February 1, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

PARIS (Reuters) - The French gas market will start trading as a single market on Nov. 1 following the launch of the 720 million euros (641 million pounds) Val de Saone gas pipeline, completing a move started in 2005 to unify its eight previous gas trading zones.

French gas grid operators GRTgaz, a unit of Engie (ENGIE.PA), and Terega said on Wednesday that the single marketplace known as Trading Region France (TRF) will have a unique wholesale gas price for the French market.

This will discontinue the remaining northern and southern gas trading zones that were linked by a low-capacity pipe with diverging prices.

In recent years, the southern zone price was tied to the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market.

That southern zone price rose well above those in the north to hit record highs during periods of high demand and tight LNG supplies in the southern French ports in winter.

The companies said the TRF will enable the delivery of gas at competitive prices to consumers, particularly industrial users in the south, and link the French market to the wider European gas market, helping to guarantee secure supplies.

Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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