Network development planning
The Austrian network development plan must contain all measures suitable for the appropriate optimisation, enhancement and expansion of the gas grid and for safeguarding security of supply which need to be implemented in the system over the next decade to ensure safe and reliable system operation.
Section 63(1) of the Gaswirtschaftsgesetz (Natural Gas Act) 2011 obliges the market area manager to coordinate with the transmission system operators and then to submit to the regulator a coordinated ten-year network development plan each year, taking into account the long-term plan and having consulted all relevant stakeholders. The plan must be based on existing and forecast supply and demand, and it must contain effective measures that guarantee the adequacy of the system and the security of supply.
In drawing up the plans, technical and economic expediency, the interests of all market participants and consistency with the Community-wide network development plan are to be taken into account.
The network development plan must in particular:
- indicate to market participants the main infrastructure that needs to be built or extended over the next ten years;
- list all the investments already decided and identify new investments which have to be executed in the next ten years; and
- provide for a time frame for all investment projects.
For the distribution area manager, section 22 Natural Gas Act 2011 stipulates the duty to draw up a long-term plan (covering at least ten years) for the distribution systems pursuant to annex 1 of the Act once a year and submit it to the regulator.
All plans must rely on reasonable assumptions about the evolution of the production, supply, consumption, storage needs and gas exchanges with other countries, taking into account investment plans for regional and Community-wide networks, as well as investment plans for storage facilities.
For both the coordinated network development plan (CNEP) and the long-term plan (LTP), the authority conducts open and transparent consultations. It publishes the results of the consultations, pointing out in particular possible needs for investments.
The regulator checks whether the ten-year network development plan covers all investment needs identified during the consultation process, and whether it is consistent with the ENTSO-G's ten-year network development plan (TYNDP) referred to in Article 8(3)(b) of Regulation (EC) No 715/2009.
Approved CNDPs and LTPs are available together with the relating official decisions here on our website (in German). An English version of the CNDPs is available here on the English website.
Guidelines for the implementation of the Coordinated Network Development Plan 2018
Sections 62 to 65 of the Austrian Gaswirtschaftsgesetz (Natural Gas Act) 2011 Federal Law Gazette I No. 107/2001, as amended. contain obligations relevant for drafting the Coordinated Network Development Plan (CNDP) for Austria as well as the respective network development plans (NDPs). Based on these provisions and on the preparation, submission and approval practices of past CNDPs, the regulatory authority (E-Control) has, in cooperation with transmission system operators (TSOs) and the market area manager (MAM), drafted guidelines outlining important requirements for the assessment of projects that are part of the CNDP 2018 pursuant to sections 62 et sqq. Natural Gas Act 2011. These guidelines, aiming to foster efficient and transparent procedures, serve as the basis for submitting projects for the CNDP 2018 and should be used in this process. For future processes, the guidelines can be adapted and further developed upon a respective request by and through a coordinated effort by MAM/TSO/E-Control.
The present guidelines do not affect the rights of the regulatory authority and the obligations of the TSOs or the MAM outlined in sections 62 et sqq. Natural Gas Act 2011 in any way. This particularly concerns the TSOs’ obligation to adjust their network development plan at any time upon request by the regulatory authority if such a plan has already been submitted but not approved (section 64 para. 5 Natural Gas Act 2011).