* 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 (Reuters) - 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 identified buyers.
PEGAS tries to bundle gas trading outside such contracts and boost the fragmented reach of hub trading by also offering location spreads.
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 actual consumption.
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)