* Franco-German platform to link up with British market
* Branched out to Belgium earlier this month
* Traded turnover still small versus consumption
FRANKFURT, July 30 A joint gas trading platform
between the French exchange Powernext and German peer EEX
will expand to British spot gas products on Oct. 15,
the two exchanges said on Wednesday.
The platform, named PEGAS, will offer round-the-clock
trading of within day, day-ahead, weekend, Saturday, Sunday and
individual day contracts, payable on the following business day,
on the British National Balancing Point (NBP) hub.
"The extension of our gas offering to the British market
area is an important step to further develop PEGAS towards a
truly pan-European gas platform," said Powernext CEO Jean
Francois Conil-Lacoste in a statement.
The two exchanges in May 2013 clubbed together for PEGAS,
moving previously separately traded products there. This
included those for the Dutch TTF market, the German Gaspool and
NCG hubs, and France's PEG Nord, PEG Sud and PEG TIGF.
Unlike conditions in the more liquid UK market, continental
Europe's freely organised gas trading is limited because a lot
of gas is still delivered under long-term contracts destined for
PEGAS tries to bundle gas trading outside such contracts and
boost the fragmented reach of hub trading by also offering
PEGAS earlier this month branched out into Belgian markets,
launching spot and futures for Belgian hubs ZTP and ZTPL.
It plans to launch spot contracts for the Belgian hub
Zeebrugge Beach (ZEE) as well location spreads between ZEE and
NBP at a later stage, it said on Wednesday.
In the first half of 2014, PEGAS traded a total volume of
248.4 terawatt hours (TWh), it has said.
This was more than double the volume traded in the same
period last year (102.1 TWh) but still relatively small, given
Germany's gas usage alone was 445.7 TWh in the six months of
Jan-June, energy group BDEW said on Tuesday.
Britain remains Europe's biggest trading hub with annual
volumes estimated at over 20,000 TWh.
(Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Mark Potter)