Gasunie is a leading European gas infrastructure company. We serve the public interest, offer integrated transport and infrastructure services to our customers, and adhere to the highest safety and business standards. We focus on short- and long-term value creation for our shareholder, other stakeholders and the environment.
We believe in a sustainable future with a balanced energy mix and a lasting role for diversified gas. We believe that we serve our customers best with innovative gas infrastructure solutions.
Our public task is ensuring safe and reliable gas transport, which is of crucial importance to society. Through our infrastructure and services, we are at the heart of the European gas market. Our infrastructure is an important connecting link between end users and suppliers of energy. We believe in a sustainable energy supply, in which gas forms a stable foundation. By optimally deploying our gas infrastructure, we contribute to making the supply of energy more sustainable.
Our network increasingly functions as an international hub in the supply and throughput of gas. For this purpose, we manage and develop gas infrastructure and gas trading points: gas transport networks, international transit pipelines, gas storage, an LNG terminal and the virtual gas trading points TTF (The Netherlands) and GASPOOL (Germany). All this forms the basis for the services we provide to our customers. This enables us to contribute to a liquid, competitive and reliable European energy market.
Our cross-border network is located in the Netherlands and Germany. We use this network to transport a quarter of the total gas consumption in the European Union. We occupy an independent position in relation to production companies and/or suppliers, and apply an open-access model. This means that our infrastructure is available to all our customers on equal conditions. Our services in this regard are transparent and non-discriminatory. The customers that make use of these services are gas producers, shippers, traders, distribution companies and end-users such as power stations and large industries.
Via our network a quarter of the total gas consumption in the European Union has been transported.
We want to proactively contribute to making the supply of energy more sustainable. That is why, together with partners, we are developing sustainable technologies and infrastructure, such as power-to-gas, large-scale feed-in of green gas into our network, and infrastructure for the use of LNG for road and waterway transport.
Our employees are spread over more than 30 locations in the Netherlands and North Germany, Berlin, Brussels and Moscow. Our headquarters are in Groningen (the Netherlands), and our main office in Germany is located in Hannover. We make an important contribution to (local) employment opportunities through the suppliers, contractors and subcontractors in the Netherlands and Germany whom we hire to work on our projects.
The Dutch State is our only shareholder.
We have two subsidiaries that own and manage a gas transport network: Gasunie Transport Services (GTS) in the Netherlands and Gasunie Deutschland in Germany. These subsidiaries are managed as business units of the holding company.
Our third business unit, Participations & Business Development, develops and manages our other infrastructure services. These include gas storage, transport through international pipelines (including sea pipelines), a terminal for the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and our share in the gas exchange ICE Endex. These activities support the liquidity and functioning of the gas market in the areas in which we are active. In this way, they contribute to the useful deployment of the networks of GTS and Gasunie Deutschland. In providing these activities, we compete with other providers.
Our business units are supported by various service providers, such as those in the areas of IT, finance and HR. In addition, by order of the business units, Operations and Projects carry out the management, maintenance, adjustment and expansion of the infrastructure.
Our three business units have different business models. The business models of GTS and Gasunie Deutschland are largely similar. The activities of GTS and Gasunie Deutschland are largely regulated, in contrast to those of Participations & Business Development, which are not or only partially regulated.
A major focal point for the future is facilitating, stimulating and developing the transition towards a sustainable energy system.
The core activity of GTS and Gasunie Deutschland is the transport of gas in the Netherlands and North Germany respectively. Both companies are what are known as Transmission System Operators (TSOs). Their revenues and returns are regulated by national regulatory authorities, the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) in the Netherlands and the Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) in Germany. In 2014, an analytical test was carried out into impairments of the gas transport network in the Netherlands and Germany. For more details regarding the reason for and the outcome of this research, see the ‘Notes to the consolidated balance sheet’ (note 2) in the consolidated financial statements.
A major focal point for the future is facilitating, stimulating and developing the transition towards a sustainable energy system. In this, we focus on the innovative application of our infrastructure (e.g., in the field of green gas and power-to-gas) and new product/market combinations for natural gas (e.g., utilising LNG in the maritime and transport sector). These new activities should in due course generate extra revenues and contribute to making optimum use of the existing gas infrastructure. These activities are being developed by the business unit Participations & Business Development.
Our revenues are entirely generated from activities relating to the gas infrastructure.
GTS’s business model
In its service provision, GTS focuses on selling the available capacity in a reliable network with competitive conditions. The gas can be fed into the network at entry points, and a customer can retrieve gas from the network at exit points. Customers enter into contracts that allow them to book capacity at certain entry or exit points in the network for a certain period (year, month or day). Customers can also trade gas amongst themselves at a virtual market place called Title Transfer Facility (TTF). The GTS network competes with other networks with regard to transport of international gas flows.
The tariffs that GTS charges its customers are regulated. They are determined once a year by ACM, which reviews the method of regulation every 3 to 5 years. As of 2014, a system of income regulation has become applicable: the tariffs are calculated by dividing the permitted revenues by the estimated capacity bookings. If the actual revenues deviate from this, the difference will be settled in later years. The permitted revenues are calculated on the basis of the costs incurred by GTS in a certain reference year. GTS is allowed to earn back its capital and operational costs plus depreciations, including a return.
The design and use of the network determine the total available capacity. GTS is legally bound to invest efficiently in sufficient transport capacity in order to be able to satisfy the total market needs. To this end, the legal point of departure is that the gas supply for small-scale users in the Netherlands is guaranteed for a day with an average effective temperature over 24 hours, as measured at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute in De Bilt, of minus 17°C. New investments – if they are deemed to be efficient by ACM – are added to the cost base of GTS, so that GTS can earn these back through the tariffs.
In 2013, ACM laid down for a period of three years (2014–2016) the method by which GTS is to be regulated. The main parameters defining this method of regulation are:
CPI: the tariffs may be indexed annually on the basis of inflation, in line with the Consumer Price Index.
The WACC (Weighted Average Cost of Capital): the allowed return on the regulated asset value. For the years 2014–2016, ACM has set the real pre-tax WACC at 3.6%. This is based on a 50/50 equity to debt ratio, a nominal cost base for loans of 3.85%, and a nominal return on equity of 5.6%.
The productivity improvement to be realised during the regulation period on the total operational and capital costs, excluding uncontrollable costs. For the years 2014–2016, this productivity improvement (or frontier shift) has been set at 1.3% per year. For the current regulation period, ACM has not conducted an individual efficiency benchmark survey for GTS, but it intends to do so in the next regulation period.
In practice, GTS can achieve a higher or lower return compared to the return on efficiently incurred costs determined by ACM. This depends on the level of the actual costs.
Gasunie Deutschland’s business model
The business model of Gasunie Deutschland is largely identical to that of GTS. The main differences with the Dutch regulation model are as follows:
The permitted return on capital consists of the real interest costs and a competitive return on equity, up to a maximum share of 40% of equity in the total capital. The permitted nominal return on equity for all investments is on average approximately 7.4% for the current regulation period (from 2013 up to and including 2017).
New investments receive a return on capital from the beginning, and immediately contribute to revenues.
For each regulation period, BNetzA carries out an individual efficiency benchmark on the total costs of a network company. For the current regulation period 2013–2017, Gasunie Deutschland has received an assessment rating of ‘100% efficient’.
The business model of Participations & Business Development
Participations & Business Development’s (P&BD) activities have been allocated to separate participations. These are responsible for the marketing and delivery of gas infrastructure services and for the obligations they have as owners of their assets. The ownership ratios in our participations vary from full ownership (e.g., EnergyStock B.V.) to shared ownership with external partners (e.g., Gate terminal and BBL Company).
Gasunie takes care of the operational management of the underground gas storage facility EnergyStock at Zuidwending, the Peakshaver storage installation in Rotterdam and the pipeline connection with the UK (BBL). The LNG terminal in Rotterdam (Gate terminal), Nord Stream and also ICE Endex function as independent organisations, supervised by the shareholders. The governance of the participations is done from the business unit P&BD.
P&BD is also looking for opportunities to develop new, sometimes innovative, activities with good returns and for partners to work together with. The activities should contribute to Gasunie’s strategy of supporting the functioning of the gas market and enabling the transition towards a sustainable energy system (our third strategic pillar).
The business-economic risks and return targets of this business unit’s activities are higher than those of Gasunie’s fully regulated activities. This is because most participations compete in the free market.
The decision to invest in new infrastructure is always preceded by a thorough analysis of the market developments, the wishes of our potential customers, as well as commercial and technological feasibility. We see a trend that long-term contracts are increasingly being replaced by short-term contracts, which increases the business risk.
In addition, the market for sustainable energy is still in a phase that requires not only a vision, but also innovation. Besides opportunities, this leads to insecurities and risks, because investments in new technologies such as power-to-gas and in markets often only yield returns in the longer term. All this sets higher demands on risk analyses and the way in which risks can be mitigated. When investing in facilitating sustainable energy, we are prepared to use adjusted revenue models and consider a higher risk profile in our decision-making. In our view, the development of new revenue models and efficient participation structures for gas infrastructure companies is inextricably linked with succeeding in our ambition to play a leading role in the transition to a sustainable energy system.
Customers buy capacity in the infrastructure managed by our participations and thereby also the right to utilise the infrastructure during the contracted period.
We construct and operate infrastructure, but we have no interest ourselves in the upstream supply, trade and downstream delivery of gas or LNG. In this way, we can facilitate a well-functioning gas market and gas trade via our participations.
Both Gate terminal and BBL have to deal with legal regulations and regulatory authorities. That is why they need the regulators’ prior consent to offer certain services, for which they are granted exemption from the regulatory frameworks, usually for a specific period of time. Together with the regulator, we then agree how we will proceed in the next period. This can result in services being offered within the regulated frameworks. As a result, the business model of Participations & Business Development is also affected by European legislation to facilitate a well-functioning European gas market.
We participate, usually in cooperation with other parties, in a number of companies that contribute to the security of supply in the field of gas in Europe. The most important of these are mentioned below.
The increasing need for natural gas combined with declining European production requires additional import. That is why we participate in Gate (Gas Access To Europe). This terminal, located on the Maasvlakte in Rotterdam, is the first import terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Netherlands. Through Gate, the Dutch gas transport grid is connected to the global supplies of natural gas, thus contributing to the diversification of the gas offer in Europe. At the terminal, LNG is stored, regasified and pressurised for distribution to the Dutch gas transport network. Gate allows quick access to the large nearby potential consumer markets for natural gas in north-west Europe. We have a 47.6% interest in Gate terminal C.V.
Nord Stream is a pipeline through the Baltic Sea that connects Russia with Europe. It has provided the European pipeline network with an extra connection to gas flows from Russia, thus contributing to a stable gas supply in Europe. We have a 9% interest in Nord Stream A.G.
The Nordeuropäische Erdgas Leitung (NEL) is the connecting pipeline between Nord Stream and our German network. It allows gas from Russia to flow directly into our network. The management and operation of NEL forms an integral part of the TSO activities of Gasunie Deutschland. We have a 25.13% interest in NEL.
BBL is a pipeline from Balgzand in the Netherlands to Bacton in the UK. The pipeline contributes to a stable supply of gas in the United Kingdom, which to a large extent depends on imported gas for its gas supply. We have a 60% interest in BBL Company Vof.
This facility for underground gas storage compensates for short-term fluctuations in the supply and demand of natural gas. The very high flexibility of this buffer (quick storage and dispatch) is important for balancing the portfolios of the EnergyStock customers and the GTS network. We have a 100% interest in EnergyStock B.V.
The Peakshaver installation on the Maasvlakte in Rotterdam liquefies natural gas and stores it in tanks. GTS can use Peakshaver to meet the demand for gas in the west of the Netherlands at peak times. We have a 100% interest in Gasunie Peakshaver B.V.
Subsidiary Vertogas works by order of the Ministry of Economic Affairs as a certification authority for green gas. It issues certificates that guarantee the sustainable origin of green gas and prove the sustainability of the production method in a transparent way. We have a 100% interest in Vertogas.
ICE Endex is a leading exchange in continental Europa for spot gas and derivatives markets. ICE Endex facilitates the trade in natural gas, but also the trade in electricity, biomass and gas storage futures. Amongst other things, it facilitates the trade flows of the Dutch TTF, the largest gas trading point in Europe. We have a 20.88% interest in ICE Endex.
Value creation model
In the value creation model below, we show the input (financial, produced, intellectual, human, social & relationships, and nature) that we use to achieve our strategic objectives, the aspects in our external environment that play a part in this, and the value we add through our core activities.
Net debt including guarantees/tangible fixed assets
Standard & Poor’s
Moody’s Investors Service
* For more information, see Note 1 ‘Revised figures due to IFRS 11 Joint Arrangements’ in the consolidated financial statements. ** Normalised for the effects of the method decisions 2010-2013 on the revenues (approximately €206 million) and the release of part of the pension provision in 2013. In 2014, there were no effects that required normalisation.
Non-financial key figures
Full-time equivalents employed (as at 31 December)*
Transported volume (TWh)
Reportable frequency index**
Incidents resulting in absence
Incidents not resulting in absence
Security of supply (non-deliveries or late deliveries)
Total CO2 emission (kilotonnes)
- Scope 1
- Scope 2
- Scope 3
Consumption of natural gas (million m3)
Consumption of electricity (million kWh)
Amount of non-hazardous waste (tonnes)
Amount of hazardous waste (tonnes)
Number of environmental irregularities
* For more information, see Note 1 ‘Revised figures due to IFRS 11 Joint Arrangements’ in the consolidated financial statements. ** Reportable frequency index includes third parties.