Gasunie's transport and trade units to be unbundled

Nov 01, 2004 01:00 AM

Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, has reached a Heads of Agreement with Shell and Esso (and their parent companies) on the proposed restructuring of Gasunie’s transport activities.
The restructuring will lead to full legal unbundling of the transport and trading businesses. The Dutch State will acquire the 25 % shares in Gasunie’s transport business currently held by each of the oil companies.

The transport business also includes the transmission system operator of the national gas transportation network. The transaction involves a sum of EUR 2.78 bn.
Acting Economic Affairs Minister Gerrit Zalm, temporarily replacing Minister Brinkhorst, signed the outline agreement this morning, together with representatives of the two oil companies. The proposed restructuring of Gasunie is explained in further detail in a letter he sent to the Second Chamber of Parliament.

After the restructuring operation, Gasunie’s transport business will no longer form part of the cooperation between the State, Shell and ExxonMobil for the production, transport and sale of Dutch natural gas (known as the “Gas Structure”), which was formed in 1963. The cooperation in the Gas Structure will not change in other respects for the time being.
The State will acquire all the shares in Gasunies transport business. Completion of the transaction is expected in mid-2005, and will be retroactive to 1 January 2005. From that date on, Gasunie’s transport business will operate entirely independently of interests in production, trade and delivery.

Some 1,400 of the Gasunie’s 1,520 employees work in the transport business.
The transport business and the trading business will both remain located in Groningen.

Source: Ministerie van Economische Zaken
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