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Five EU countries propose two new options for capping gas prices

Poland and four other EU countries on Thursday made a joint request to the European Commission to explore two options to cap soaring gas prices and propose possible solutions in a bid to tame surging energy costs, the Greek energy ministry informed.

The European Union will unveil proposals next week to launch joint gas buying within months and develop an alternative gas price benchmark, but a meeting of EU countries on Wednesday left the matter unresolved on whether the package will include a gas price cap.

In a letter addressed to the European Union’s executive arm on Thursday, the energy ministers of Greece, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland proposed amending references to the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) price of gas in the relevant contracts through a legal and/or regulatory EU measure.

Brussels says a new index is needed since the main TTF benchmark is guided by pipeline supply and is no longer representative of a market that includes more liquefied natural gas.

The ministers also want the EU to examine a cap on wholesale gas prices and consider a separate mechanism to match the supply and demand when said price cap may be overshot via over-the-counter transactions and tenders.

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