The Chamber of Natural Gas Industry (IGG) was established in April 2003. It is a voluntary self-governing business organisation which represents the interests of 120 affiliated companies operating in the Polish gas industry.
The mission of IGG is to represent its members before national government, local authorities and social institutions, as well as scientific and business organisations, shape and promote ethical principles in business activity, to promote modern technical and economic knowledge, provide a community integration platform for individuals and corporations associated with gas industry, and cooperate in the definition of development programs for the energy industry, including specifically gas industry.
The Chamber of Natural Gas Industry fulfils its statutory tasks in many ways. By giving opinions and commenting on legal acts, it takes part in shaping the operating environment for gas industry. It promotes the development of gas industry also by initiating research and development work and by promoting new technical, technological, economic and organisational solutions. By organising conferences, symposia and trainings related to gas issues, it provides conditions for experience sharing and encourages independent, professional judgement and opinions on the functioning and development of gas industry. It cooperates extensively with both national and local government agencies, and their foreign counterparts.
Since 2007, the Technical Standard Committee has been operating at the Chamber of Natural Gas Industry, and as of 2010 – also the Arbitration Court.
Another, equally important area of IGG’s activity, concerns publishing‘Przegląd Gazowniczy’, a quarterly gas industry magazine where the most important issues and events related to the functioning of gas industry, both in Poland and globally, are raised and commented. The quarterly has been published for five years and is circulated in ca. 3000 copies. High quality of the content is ensured by a Program Board composed of 13 members, which is appointed by IGG and chaired by Mieczysław Menżyński, a distinguished gas expert and Vice-President of the Board of the Polish Association of Sanitary Engineers Technicians.
Overview of Member Companies
The Chamber of Natural Gas Industry gathers 120 gas industry companies, including: 12 companies employing more than 500 persons, 2 companies employing 250 - 500 persons, 14 companies employing 100 - 250 persons, 17 companies employing 50 - 100 persons and 75 companies employing less or 50 persons.
Among the 120 member companies there are 11 companies with the State Treasury share.
The business profile of member companies is very diversified and includes engineering, construction and sale of equipment used in gas industry, as well as gas distribution and trade. The largest companies affiliated in the Chamber of Natural Gas Industry are: PGNiG SA, GAZ- SYSTEM SA and PBG SA.
The General Meeting of the IGG Members is the supreme authority of the Chamber of Natural Gas Industry. The executive power rests with an eleven-person IGG Board. The Board consists of representatives of IGG member companies, elected by a secret ballot during the General Meeting of IGG Members. The Board is appointed for a 3-year term.
The Board is responsible for the management of day-to-day activity of the Chamber in accordance with the applicable regulations, provisions of the Statute, as well as guidelines and resolutions of the General Meeting.
The present composition of the IGG Board is as follows: Mirosław Dobrut (PGNiG S.A.) – President of the Board, Karol Kalemba (BSiPG Gazoprojekt S.A.) – Vice-President of the Board, Zdzisław Kowalski (WSG Sp. z o.o.) - Vice-President of the Board, Adrian Dudek (Rugia Sp. z o.o. sp.k.), Piotr Haładus (Gazobudowa Sp. z o.o.), Wojciech Kowalski (OGP GAZ-SYSTEM SA), Cezary Mróz (Sanitgaz CM Sp. z o.o..), Bogdan Pilch (GdF Suez), Jarosław Stasiak (Common S.A.), Maciej Szumski (Plum Sp. z o.o.), Konrad Śniatała (Atrem S.A.).
The audit function in the Chamber of Natural Gas Industry is performed by a five-person Audit Committee. Presently, it consists of: Grzegorz Romanowski (Gazomet Sp.z o.o.) – Chairman of the Committee, Lech Wall (GPT Sp. z o.o.) – Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Bogdan Baniak (KSG Sp. z o.o.) – Secretary, Joanna Pindelska (MSG Sp. z o.o.), Zygmunt Trąba (ZWUG INTERGAZ Sp. z o.o.)
The IGG Office is run by Andrzej Schoeneich (Manager) and his team: Bożenna Wojtan and Agnieszka Rudzka.
AREAS OF ACTIVITY:
The Chamber of Natural Gas Industry actively participates, playing a lobbying role, in the definition and evaluation of legal and normative instruments that are relevant to the functioning of energy and gas industries and, at the same time, promotes natural gas as modern and ecological fuel.
In the years 2008 and 2009, the Chamber of Natural Gas Industry was actively seeking to elevate the importance gas industry in a document prepared by the government, titled ‘Polish Energy Policy until2030’. As a result of its persistent efforts, including a number of speeches and conferences participated by representatives of government authorities, the prominent role of the gas market – as one of the key elements of the Poland’s future energy policy – has been properly recognized in the abovementioned document and its annexes.
Having regard to numerous amendments to the Energy Law, in 2008 the Chamber of Natural Gas Industry took the initiative to break up the abovementioned document into separate industry-specific laws, including a Gas Law, which would set forth the relevant rules and govern the functioning of the Polish gas industry. To this end, a dedicated Working Group for Gas Law has been set up at the Chamber.The scope of the Group’s work includes,inter alia: the preparation of 1)Assumptions for the Gas Law together with the directions of necessary amendments to the Energy Law, 2) a draftGas Lawtogether with theJustificationand 3) Assumptions for the relatedImplementing Regulations.Draft documents concerning item 1were passed to the competent governmental institutions, i.e. the relevant Ministries and Parliamentary Committees, taking into considerations the requirements of the Lobbying Act. All the central institutions concerned expressed their support for the proposed amendments.
In July 2008, the Chamber of Natural Gas Industry, GAZ-SYSTEM SA, PTPiREE [Polish Society of Electricity Transmission and Distribution], PSE-Operator SA and Prolinea Infrastructure Development Society executed a Memorandum of Understanding, which aims to work towards the passing of new legislative solutions by the Polish Parliament in order to support infrastructure investments and clarify the legal status of the network infrastructure, both existing and under construction. So far, the Memorandum has resulted in two ‘Reports on the impact of legal regulations on the operation and development conditions for line infrastructure of the fuel and energy sector, which play decisive role for the national energy security(an abstract of the ‘Reports’can be found on the IGG website). At present, IGG is working on a draft law on transmission-line corridors and is defining the assumptions for other legislative acts.
For the last two years, the Chamber of Natural Gas Industry has actively worked on the Regulation of Minister of Economy ontechnical conditions to be metbygas networks.It is expected that the Regulation will be adopted by the Council of Ministers in the second quarter of 2010, including nearly all the comments put forward by gas industry.
The Chamber of Natural Gas Industry has also worked on the so-called. System Regulation (on functioning of gas networks, trade, gas balancing, connections…). In February this Regulation was obtained a notification by the Standing Committee of the Council of Ministers and we hope that it will enter into force in the third quarter of 2010.
At the end of December, the Council of Ministers signed a Regulation on OSH requirements for the construction and use of gas networks, which had been consulted with IGG.
The overregulation of gas industry is a serious problem, which calls for a legal solution. This concerns,inter alia, the supervision over gas appliances, as their design, construction and operation are subject to both the Energy and the Construction Law. Moreover, in 2004, these appliances became also supervised by the Office of Technical Inspection. In 2009, IGG made attempts to obtain explicit decisions as to specification of the types of technical (gas) appliances which are subject to technical supervision. As a result of the IGG efforts, the Ministry of Economy set out to revise the relevant Regulation of the Council of Ministers of 2002. At present, proposals and opinions on this issue are being collected from of all the member companies.
Upon the request of its members, IGG worked on the gas market model and the tariff model, cooperating with the Energy Regulatory Office, and succeeded in passing through advantageous provisions in the tariffs approved for the year2009. Inview of the intention of the Ministry of Economy to amend the Regulation on Gas Tariffs, these efforts will continue in 2010.
Another Group working at IGG focuses on smart metering technologies for gas industry. Its main tasks concern setting the direction for the activities of the gas sector to ensure the implementation of the outstanding EU obligations set forth in the Third Gas Directive and related to the implementation of smart metering. The Group is also cooperating with governmental institutions to prepare technical and legal solutions to this issue.
Furthermore, out of the initiative of the Chamber of the Natural Gas Industry and the Polish Chamber of Chemical Industry (PIPC), a group dedicated to the cooperation between the two industries has been set up. The purpose of this Group to develop effective mechanisms to promote the gas market liberalization and come up with joint positions on legislative proposals, in particular with regard to the tariffs for large consumers.
The statutory objective of the Chamber is to act for the benefit of and on behalf of the member companies. The member companies are, on a regular basis, informed of major events taking place in the Chamber and in gas industry. All the opinions on legislation drafts consulted with IGG have been expressed on the basis of the comments made by the IGG members.
One of the major tasks of the Chamber is to promote the development of Polish gas industry by improving the operating environment and raising technical safety. To this end, in December 2006, the Chamber of Natural Gas Industry became engaged in technical standardisation.
The scope and principles of standardization have been defined in a document titled ‘Standards and technical guidelines of theChamber of the Natural Gas Industry– goals, principles, organisation, financing’. All the standardisation activities are supervised by the Technical Standard Committee which was established in 2007. The Committee is composed of 28 members gathered in 15 working groups (for more information see also page ....)
Congresses and Industry Exhibitions
As one of its key initiatives, IGG organizes the Gas Engineering Fair EXPO-GAS. The Fair is held every two years, in April, at grounds of the International Fair in Kielce. In 2009, the 5th edition of this multi-trade event was held, and focused on technology advances and system solutions for gas industry and for other energy carriers. Year by year, EXPO-GAS is becoming increasingly more popular with gas industry companies, including foreign ones. During the Fair, medals and recognitions are awarded to the best products presented at the exhibition. At the gala event, the IGG honourable distinctions are presented to persons who rendered great service to gas industry. The Fair is always accompanied by a conference dedicated to a specific topic. In 2009 the keynote theme of the conference was: “The Outlook for thePolish gas industry”.The conference was attended by around 160 participants. The second day of the Fair is typically dedicated to training workshops. In 2009, they concerned ‘Practical Application by gas companies of the regulations of the Technical Standard ST-IGG-0601:2008protection against external corrosion of steel on-shore gas pipelines. Functional requirements’.
The Gas Engineering Fair EXPO-GAS and the accompanying conference and workshops are one of the most important platforms for gas industry to create and promote new technology solutions, as well as an effective forum for the exchange of opinions and experiences.
The Congress of Polish Gas Industry is another biannual event that takes place in April, in Wisła. The Congress and the EXPO-GAS alternate each other. In 2008, more than 400 people from the gas sector participated in the 1stCongress. The Congress session was concluded with a Resolution, which provided an overview of the most important and urgent issues of the Polish gas industry calling for immediate solutions.
Other cyclical events organized every year by the Chamber include seminars in Zakopane (January) and in Jurata (September). The seminars are addressed to international audience and, apart from Polish gas industry experts, they gather also visitors from Russia, Germany, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Conferences organised by the Chamber of Natural Gas Industry became one of the leading places of discussion on the current and future condition of the Polish gas industry. These gatherings of top class experts and practitioners from gas industry and the representatives of the leading institutions and governmental agencies have already resulted in a number of projects concerning the current and future shape of Polish energy policy.
The Chamber of Natural Gas Industry also seeks to participate in major international gas events, promoting them among its members. IGG representatives took part, also as speakers, in the 24th World Gas Congresswhich was held lastOctober in Buenos Aires.
Education and Training
The Chamber also organises Master of Business Administrationstudies in cooperation with Gdansk Foundation for Management Development andInstitut d’Administration des Entreprises Aix-en–Provence Marseille. At present, the 5thedition is taking place. The studies are addressed to specialists from higher levels of management. Overall, about 200 persons have been trained.
Furthermore, to meet the expectations of gas industry, IGG has run numerous trainings for candidates for members of supervisory and management boards. Over 150 persons in total participated in the trainings.
Moreover, the Chamber actively supported the conference titled‘Safety of Natural Gas Supply in Central European Countries’, which took place at the end of November2009, inBratislava. Earlier, in June 2009, the Chamber representatives discussed in Bratislava on the necessary measures at the level of the Commission and European Parliament, that are common for the Visegrád Group countries, as regards the need to influence the EU energy policy, and the amendments in the SOS Regulation (on solidarity of gas supply).
One of key activity areas recently undertaken by the Chamber of Natural Gas Industry concerns the IGG Arbitration Tribunal established in September 2009. The Court is seated in Warsaw. It was created to settle disputes between business partners, in particular when they are of technical nature and require participation and knowledge of experts. Currently, there are 25 Arbitrators affiliated to the Tribunal, representing legal, economic and technical backgrounds.