On 21 April 2021, a framework agreement for the merger of the two gas market areas GASPOOL and NetConnect Germany was signed in Berlin. The merger aims to form the Trading Hub Europe (THE) market area which will start trading on 1 October 2021. Latham & Watkins LLP provided comprehensive legal advice on this significant milestone for the formation of a joint German gas market area.
In addition to the framework agreement, the contracts for the merger of the two market area managers GASPOOL Balancing Services GmbH and NetConnect Germany GmbH & Co. KG to form Trading Hub Europe GmbH were also signed. After entry in the commercial reg-ister, Trading Hub Europe GmbH will take over management of the GASPOOL and NetCon-nect Germany market areas until 1 October 2021 and subsequently become the operator of the new THE market area from 1 October 2021.
The signing of the framework agreement marks a major milestone for the German gas mar-ket. The high-pressure pipeline network in the new market area will have a total length of around 40,000 km and connect more than 700 downstream networks.
The project partners include GASCADE Gastransport GmbH, bayernets GmbH, Gasunie Deutschland Transport Services GmbH, GRTgaz Deutschland GmbH, Fluxys TENP Deutschland, Gastransport Nord GmbH, Nowega GmbH, ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH, Open Grid Europe GmbH, terranets bw GmbH, Thyssengas GmbH, GASPOOL Balancing Services GmbH, and NetConnect Germany GmbH & Co. KG.
The Latham team was led by Düsseldorf partner Tobias Larisch, with associate Katharina Intfeld. Advice was also provided on tax matters by Munich partner Thomas Fox and Hamburg associate Simon Pommer, on employment matters by Munich partner Anne Kleffmann, and on regulatory matters by Frankfurt counsel Joachim Grittmann and associate Alexander Wilhelm.