Press release: GasTerra reports increase in turnover

14-02-2014

Groningen, 14 February 2014 – Gas trading company GasTerra today published its results for 2013. The company reported a total sales volume of 89.3 billion cubic metres, mainly due to the long cold winter, and a record turnover of 24.3 billon euros. Commenting on the results, CEO Gertjan Lankhorst said: ‘We have succeeded in reaching the targets we set ourselves at the beginning of the financial year, both financially and operationally. This was due not just to the market itself but also to GasTerra’s ability to respond to the dynamic gas market. Once again, we managed to launch a number of innovative products such as the five-year gas storage auction service, which gives our customers the ability to maintain their own gas buffers for longer.’

However, there was also a less positive side to the annual results. Gertjan Lankhorst:  ‘The earth tremors in the vicinity of the gas extraction areas in Groningen have led to enormous public disquiet throughout the province and uncertainty about the future of production from the Groningen field. The recent decision by the Dutch government to restrict production from Groningen over the next three years and to cut production at the centre of the gas field by as much as 80% presents us with a major challenge. However, we are confident that we will still be able to meet our contractual obligations. The company will do its utmost to successfully implement the government decision.’

While GasTerra’s sales volumes in Europe may be substantial, some market developments are giving cause for concern. The reasons are clear: low carbon prices caused by the non-functioning of the ETS (European Emission Trading System) are forcing energy companies to substantially reduce or even halt the output of their gas-fired power stations and instead maximise their reliance on low-cost coal alternatives. This is bad news, not just for a gas trading company like GasTerra but also for society, which wants to see a reduction in CO2 emissions. The increase in coal-fired rather than relatively clean gas-fired stations will further increase carbon emissions, which is precisely the opposite of what the use of more sustainable energy sources was intended to achieve.

Despite these concerns, there are also positive developments to report with regard to the energy transition in 2013. One of these is the Energy agreement for sustainable growth, which was concluded between the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER) and a number of Dutch stakeholders. The agreement reflects the reaching of a broad consensus about how to achieve CO2 reduction, energy conservation and renewable energy targets for the Netherlands by 2020. A key aspect of the agreement is the commitment to revitalise the ETS. This is vital for the future role of gas in the energy system, since reform of the emissions trading system is a necessary prerequisite for restoring the competitiveness of gas in the electricity sector. GasTerra is confident that its product can make an important contribution to a responsible transition to a sustainable energy supply. We will do so in the first place by increasing the volume of green gas we trade in, as well as by supporting initiatives such as the Groningen EnTranCe and the Sustainable Ameland project, which is studying sustainability in combination with gas applications.

Note for editors

GasTerra’s financial and social reports are fully integrated, since the company believes that its operating results and contribution to society can and must be seen as an interrelated whole.

The full GasTerra annual report can be viewed the beginning of March on the website. For more information about GasTerra’s annual results, please contact Anton Buijs, Communications Manager, tel: (050) 364 8810 / e-mail: anton.buijs@gasterra.nl.