NEL Gastransport GmbH – an independent transmission system operator

What influence does shareholders have on the business of the transmission system operator NEL Gastransport GmbH?

The transmission business of NEL Gastransport GmbH is not subject to any influence from a shareholder. NEL Gastransport is a company under German law, has been organized as an independent, fully regulated transmission system operator on the basis of the German Energy Industry Act (EnWG) for the past ten years and is accordingly certified by the German Federal Network Agency. That means NEL Gastransport is obligated by law to conduct its transmission business in a non-discriminatory manner and independently of its shareholders’ interests. An internal compliance program, a Compliance Officer and the Federal Network Agency supervise whether these obligations are met.

How is NEL Gastransport’s independence ensured?

NEL Gastransport is an independent transmission system operator in accordance with Section 10 of the German Energy Industry Act (EnWG) and is thus obligated by law to comply with the relevant unbundling and independence requirements in relation to its shareholders.

NEL Gastransport’s independence was examined as part of a certification procedure in accordance with Section 4a EnWG and the company was awarded certification by the Federal Network Agency, with the involvement of the European Commission, in 2013. As a result, NEL Gastransport meets all the requirements for ensuring that it is independent of its shareholders.

They include the following aspects:

  • NEL Gastransport has the financial, technical, material and personnel resources to be able to ensure safe and reliable transmission system operation.
  • NEL Gastransport has its own, independent personnel, who must not work for the shareholders.
  • NEL Gastransport’s top management and some of its middle management are subject to stringent cooling-off regulations that prevent them moving to companies owned by shareholders.
  • NEL Gastransport is not allowed to procure any services from its shareholders.
  • NEL Gastransport has its own hardware and software systems that are completely separate from its shareholders’ IT systems.
  • NEL Gastransport has headquarters that are completely separate from all shareholders and has its own access control systems.
  • NEL Gastransport is obligated to keep sensitive and economically advantageous information on its own transmission business confidential from its shareholders.
  • NEL Gastransport has an extensive internal compliance program that has been audited by the Federal Network Agency, as well as a Compliance Officer named by the Federal Network Agency who oversees compliance with these regulations and reports violations to the regulatory authority.

Compliance with these regulations ensures NEL Gastransport’s independence and, in terms of its effect, is equivalent to ownership unbundling.

That means shareholders have no influence on NEL Gastransport’s transmission business or how the company is run.

Is NEL Gastransport impacted by sanctions?

NEL Gastransport’s gas infrastructure and transmission services are an important component in Germany’s and Europe’s energy supply security, also in view of the fact that diversification of energy sources will grow in importance in the future. That has been confirmed to us to date by political decision-makers and is also reflected in the fact that we are not subject to current European and U.S. sanctions and are not the focus of any potential tightening of sanctions. NEL Gastransport is also not mentioned on the Russian list of sanctioned energy companies.