Several big energy companies in the Czech Republic plan to use a joint European platform to purchase natural gas at a lower cost. Aggregate EU, an online platform for energy companies, will allow companies to register and purchase gas from European suppliers. The Czech Republic’s E.ON, ČEZ, innogy, and MND have already expressed interest in the platform, with the head of Prague’s gas company, Martin Pacovský, also confirming interest.
The joint purchasing of gas is one of the results of the Czech Republic’s presidency of the EU Council. The country’s Minister of Industry and Trade, Jozef Síkela, said that he expects the joint purchasing to help fill reserves before winter and avoid sudden price increases. According to preliminary indications from participating companies, the agreement to supply 15 percent of funds through joint purchases could reportedly be exceeded by up to three times.
However, the benefits of joint purchasing are not expected to lead to significant savings. Analysts have warned that world producers know Europe’s complicated role in preparing for winter and are unlikely to significantly lower prices. Michal Kocůrek, of the consulting company EGÚ Brno said that while the demand for gas is one thing, supply is another.
Despite the uncertainty over savings, the agreement is expected to help companies avoid battling for gas on the market, as they did last year when prices climbed as high as EUR 300 per megawatt-hour. Analyst Jiří Gavor of the ENA company said that the joint purchasing of gas through AggregateEU is worth trying but warned against expecting significant savings.
In the meantime, the government has said that reserves are currently over 70 percent full, according to Minister Síkela. Resources filling will continue until at least October to ensure they are complete before winter. Companies from EU member states and contracting countries of the Energy Community, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, and Ukraine, can register for AggregateEU.