In order to improve its competitive position and to better leverage market opportunities our customer decided in 2010 to replace its existing system for commercial and contractual settlement with a new balancing group and nomination management system. The aim behind this move was to establish a high-performance technological solution that would support the existing, partly manual processes while providing flexibility.
Note: ECG was acquired by EXXETA AG at the beginning of 2016. As of 1 July 2016, ECG Erdgas-Consult GmbH will be operating under the new name EXXETA GmbH.
With its complex midstream and downstream portfolio our customer – one of Germany‘s largest natural gas suppliers with activities stretching all over Europe – is subject to intense competitive pressure from other energy companies.
In order to improve its competitive position and to better leverage market opportunities our customer decided in 2010 to replace its existing system for commercial and contractual settlement with a new balancing group and nomination management system. The aim behind this move was to establish a high-performance technological solution that would support the existing, partly manual processes – the number and complexity of which would have significantly increased with the expected growth of the customer's portfolio – while providing flexibility.
Given its Europe-wide business portfolio our customer's activities are not limited to Germany but also stretch across seven other countries (Belgium, Denmark, France, United Kingdom, Austria, Netherlands and Czech Republic). Each of these countries comes with its own regulatory framework which were to be managed and supported by a single overall balancing group management system.
In addition, the then impending changes to the capacity regime would bring with them the need to enter into a variety of new, complex and short-term legal transactions which would strongly increase the dynamics of capacity-related processes. Aside from the modified capacity management rules in Germany also the foreign markets with their own specifics and modifications to market rules would need to be integrated consistently and securely into the process landscape.
While optimising the existing system landscape the new balancing group management system would also need to be incorporated smoothly into the existing infrastructure to improve the topicality and transparency of the in-house flow of information.
By choosing ECG Erdgas-Consult GmbH (ECG) and its standard solution MTS TRADE at the beginning of 2011 following competitive tendering our customer opted for a strong and experienced partner.
Thanks to its vast previous knowledge base ECG was able to draw on its market-specific know-how when implementing the individual markets, which enabled the ECG team to work on an equal footing with the customer's experts. This allowed the project team to focus its coordination work on the specifics of the customer's portfolio and thus to meet the tight project deadline.
Starting in the summer of 2012, the new MTS TRADE balancing group management system as implemented at our customer went live following a market-by-market approach in order to ensure high availability in the course of the day-to-day business. The project team even managed to implement newly arising regulatory requirements in addition to the agreed project tasks while still adhering to the schedule. The balancing costs sharply dropped immediately after the first market went live under the new system. This was primarily due to the improved responsiveness and the higher transparency achieved in relation to the complex processes.
Another key factor was the extensive development of interfaces. MTS TRADE was meticulously connected to our customer's energy data management system to ensure that the data would be available for subsequent processes and to enable long-term archiving.
Among the key factors enabling the successful completion of the project were MTS TRADE itself as a tried and tested standard system, and the holistic support provided by ECG. Our customer will therefore continue to rely on ECG as a competent partner.
"For us the IT project introducing the MTS TRADE balancing group management system has been a great success, as we managed to achieve all our goals while adhering to the project schedule."
Responsible expert at the customer