On 9 January 2018, the Ministry of Energy (SENER) published in the Federal Official Gazette, an Accord containing the Natural Gas Coordination Rulebook (the Rulebook), and specifically the general rules for the coordination between the National Center of Energy Control (CENACE), Natural Gas Administrators (the Administrators), (such as the National Center of Natural Gas Control), other managers of the Natural Gas Transportation Systems, carriers and/or transportation permit holders, and generators.

The Rulebook covers the following topics:

  1. Natural Gas (NG) availability;
  2. Procedures for exchanging information between CENACE, the Administrators and the Generators;
  3. The use and impact of the information exchanged in the Wholesale Electricity Market; and
  4. The calculation of opportunity costs, if applicable, that Generators may use in their sale offers in the Day-Ahead Market and the Real-Time Market.

This publication highlights the protocol that the Generators, the Administrators and CENACE must follow to carry out the exchange of information for the operational planning of the National Electric System and the Natural Gas Transportation System, as well as to ensure a reliable operation of such systems, considering data protection issues, among other aspects.

Additionally, the information that Generators and Administrators must provide to CENACE is specified. With respect to Generators, they are required to submit before CENACE information on whether they belong to a group of power station units or not, the quantity of NG expected to be consumed on a daily basis, as well as information related to NG restrictions on the power station units represented by the same. In the case of Administrators, they must inform CENACE of the existence of restrictions on NG supply, among other relevant information, so that interconnection contract holders may analyze their particular situation before their representative.

The Rulebook also describes the information that CENACE is required to provide to Administrators for the purpose of contributing to planning an expansion and optimization of the transportation and storage infrastructure, such as recording NG consumption during a prior year, the beginning of operations of new power station units, the quantity of estimated NG orders per point of delivery, etc.

Also noteworthy is the establishment of the general responsibilities of Generators, such as notifying to CENACE the NG consumption reduction orders received from Administrators or Users, the obligation to adjust the sale offers in the Short-Tem Energy Market, as well as notifying to CENACE of any change to NG restrictions.

With regard to the general responsibilities of CENACE, this Coordination Rulebook establishes that, among other actions, such authority will evaluate the impact of NG reductions, and will participate and coordinate the public reporting in connection with any event that might affect the Day-Ahead Market and the Real-Time Market.

Last, but not least, the Rulebook identifies the cases where Generators will be exempt from the application of penalties and the scenarios in which they will have the right to be compensated whenever the NG availability is affected by causes not attributable to the same, as well as the cases in which Generators may be exempt from offering the totality of available capacity. In this sense, in order to conclude that the CENACE must relieve the affected Generators from such penalties, an analysis must be made regarding the cases in which the lack of NG availability results from a relevant event (as such term is defined in the Rulebook) and causes a failure to comply with the allocation and dispatch agenda.

The Accord became effective on 9 January 2018.

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