Budapest, June 16 (MTI) – Regional gas supplier Tigaz has requested the withdrawal of its “universal service provider” licence to supply gas to households, the company said on Monday.
Universal service providers supply gas using a price structure and level controlled by the state.
In line with the regulations in effect, the Hungarian Energy and Utilities Regulatory Office (MEKH) will manage the transfer of customers to the new service provider, Tigaz added in a statement.
Tigaz said the decision is part of a process aimed to “coordinate its business activity with the regulatory environment and reduce the unfavourable effects affecting its business activity”.
Tigaz served almost 1.2m customers and had operating losses of HUF 4.9bn in 2014.
The other two big universal service providers, E.on Energiaszolgaltato and GDF Suez submitted similar requests in April.
Their retail customers will be taken over by state-owned Fogaz, MEKH said last week.
Fogaz was earlier owned by Germany’s RWE Gas International and the Budapest city council and was purchased by state-owned Hungarian Electricity Works MVM in December 2013. Since August 1 2014, Fogaz has been held by the First National Utilities Company (ENKSZ).
Hungary’s government earlier mandated a series of utilities price cuts for households. It also established the First National Utilities Company (ENKSZ) to act as an efficient, predictable and cheap utilities provider. ENKSZ started operating on the gas market in April and will later launch on the electricity and district heating markets.
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