TALLINN – The Estonian Riigikogu approved on Wednesday of the natural gas law that obliges Eesti Gaas to sell the main distribution grid of gas, LETA/Postimees Online reports.
According to the law, Eesti Gaas has to sell gas transmission grids by January 1, 2015 latest to a company whose owners do not include gas producers or sellers with governing market power.
If the provision is not fulfilled, a penalty can be demanded from the system administrator; the maximum level of the penalty payment is 1.2 million euros a year but not more than 10% of the company's annual audited turnover.
According to the bill, the payment can be demanded starting 2015, which should give the owners of the grid plenty of time to sell it.
Government claims that taking away the transmission grid from Eesti Gaas aims to increase Estonia's energy security and creating competition at the gas market.