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No competition on liberalized gas market

The July full opening of the Hungarian natural gas market has brought no positive changes to the industry’s operation with no competition in pricing emerging among players, Mihály Szaniszló, head of the industrial gas consumers’ forum (IEF) told the daily Népszava.

Given the current state of gas supply, gas companies have not been able or willing to start competing for new customers, hence the anticipated drop in market prices never came, Szaniszló said, adding that in this respect the liberalization was a failure.

Industrial users are at further disadvantage since they have to bear additional costs because an agreement between the state and gas firms E.ON and Tigáz.

According to the agreement the two companies receive compensation for not raising gas costs for household consumers in line with global procurement expenses. Szaniszló noted that IEF and its members are in this sense “fair game” and have thus amassed HUF 66 billion in debts from having to take on the related additional cost factor. (Népszava)