Interconnection ensures that arrangements for third party connections to gas transmission pipelines are reasonable.
The objective of the interconnection work programme is to ensure that arrangements for third party connections to gas transmission pipelines are reasonable. Interconnections involve facilities for injecting gas into, or extracting gas from, the transmission pipelines.
This work programme is among Gas Industry Co's activities aimed at fulfilling:
However to date, Gas Industry Co has taken a non-regulated governance approach to interconnections via a set of Interconnection Guidelines (Guidelines), first issued in 2009.
To date, Gas Industry Co has taken a non-regulated approach to managing this work. In particular, in 2009, we issued a set of Interconnection Guidelines setting out our view on the features of good interconnection processes. Since becoming sole owner of the transmission pipelines, First Gas has reviewed and unified and transmission pipeline interconnection arrangements as part of the GTAC development. This includes developing an Interconnection Policy explaining how First Gas will facilitate new interconnections and setting out key terms of interconnection. In this work programme’s related pages:
The Developing section contains our review of how First Gas’ new interconnection arrangements, that will come into effect with the new Gas Transmission Access Code (GTAC), compare to the Interconnection Guidelines.
In August 2014, Gas Industry Co updated the Minister of Energy and Resources on the following interconnection matters:
These reports can be found under Related Documents below.
These are the latest in a series of assessments and updates to the Minister since 2009:
Gas Industry Co issued the Transmission Pipeline Interconnection Guidelines (the Guidelines) in February 2009. The Guidelines set out its view on the features of good interconnection practice.
The objectives of the Guidelines are to:
In September 2009, a review was conducted on the interconnection arrangements of both MDL and Vector against the Guidelines. As a result of the review and discussions held with the TSOs, some amendments to the Guidelines of February 2009 were considered necessary and they were republished in November 2009. These amendments and the reasons for them are noted in a Related Document listed below. The November 2009 Updated Guidelines is also found below.
The latest review of the Interconnection arrangements was released in August 2014 and can be found here.
There are no current consultations in this Work Programme.
The Gas Act provides for regulations to be made for the purpose of 'prescribing reasonable terms and conditions for access to transmission or distribution pipelines'.
In 2006, a review by Gas Industry Co of transmission access issues identified a number of concerns relating to interconnection with transmission pipelines, with subsequent discussion with interconnecting parties suggesting that: interconnection processes were poorly defined; technical requirements for interconnection equipment had been changed during the course of projects; roles and responsibilities had been confusing; and liability/insurance matters had not been addressed until late in the process.
In response, Gas Industry Co developed Interconnection Guidelines, setting out its view on the features of good interconnection practice. The Guidelines have no legal standing, but are intended for use by transmission system owners (TSOs) - at the time Vector Limited and Maui Development Limited (MDL) but since mid-2016 only First Gas Limited- in the development of their interconnection services, and by parties seeking interconnection as a guide to the principles, processes, documentation and dispute arrangements that might apply.
In relation to the gas market interconnections we note that the introduction of a gas trading market is a significant step towards achieving the Government's policy objective of efficient arrangements for short-term trading of gas. We find no issues requiring intervention, but note that the Maui pipeline owner is concerned that market trading may cause pipeline balancing issues. While acknowledging these concerns, we consider that the risks arising from the introduction of the market are manageable. We will keep track of balancing metrics in the immediate future to identify any emerging problems.
In relation to the physical interconnections we find that the owners of the Maui and Vector transmission pipelines each had very comprehensive interconnection policies, procedures and documentation in place, closely aligned with the Interconnection Guidelines Gas Industry Co published in 2009. The recent interconnections have all been effective, with pipeline owners, and propose to continue monitoring new connections.
Material from the 2014 reviews of the 'interconnection' of the gas trading markets and physical interconnections is presented below:
In this section you can find all the previous reviews and their corresponding documents.