The Czech Republic’s state-owned electric power transmission system operator, ČEPS, has completed the acquisition of natural gas transportation company NET4GAS Holdings.
The consideration of the deal, which was signed in September this year, included two parts.
Following the signing of the transfer contracts, the first instalment worth Kč3bn ($132.44m) was paid by ČEPS.
If the economic performance requirements of NET4GAS Holdings are fulfilled, ČEPS will pay the second instalments in two tranches, up to a maximum of Kč2bn.
NET4GAS Holdings’ wholly owned subsidiaries include NET4GAS and BRAWA.
NET4GAS has the exclusive rights for the transportation of natural gas in the Czech Republic.
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It has a network of nearly 4,000km of gas pipelines and operates three border transfer stations, five compression stations and 100 transfer stations.
BRAWA is the owner of the Gazela gas pipeline, which links Germany and passes through Czech territory on its way from the North Bohemian crossing at Brandov to Bavaria.
Previously, the NET4GAS system carried more than 45 billion cubic metres of natural gas annually.
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the gas being transported through the Czech Republic fell.
The volume decreased to about 31 billion cubic metres in 2022, and in 2023 the average monthly volume decreased further, by approximately 70%.
Czech Republic Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela said: “NET4GAS is essential for the transport of gas through our territory and the further development of the gas system.
“In the coming years, we expect an increase in its consumption by 25 to 50%, which is why the state’s investment in NET4GAS is a very important step towards strengthening energy security.”
According to the Síkela, the Czech Republic could also play a key role in transporting gas to East Europe.
Currently, Russia supplies gas to countries to the east of the Czech Republic via Ukraine.
The agreement to transport this gas across Ukrainian territory expires next year, and its renewal is by no means assured, Síkela claimed.
Furthermore, NET4GAS gas pipelines could be included in the Central European Hydrogen Corridor, which has the potential to carry up to 15 billion cubic metres of hydrogen annually, the minister added.