Edison, the Italian utility, said on Tuesday that it had successfully renegotiated the pricing of its long-term gas contracts with Qatar, just over a year after winning a similar victory over Russia’s Gazprom.
Edison said the deal would be worth €450m to the company this year, but disclosed no further details.
It marks the first time a major European customer has taken RasGas, the state-owned Qatari energy group, to arbitration and won. Analysts expect other utilities could soon follow Edison’s lead.
Pressure has been building on big energy exporters to reduce the price they charge for their gas under their long-term supply contracts, which tend to be indexed to the price of crude oil. A European recession that has weakened demand for gas and dragged down profits at the big power companies has only increased that pressure.
Edison is one of a number of European utilities that have challenged their gas supply contracts in the courts. Germany’s Eon and RWE and PGNIG of Poland all took Gazprom to arbitration, though Eon halted the process after the Russian gas export monopoly agreed to big price cuts in July. ENI of Italy also won price concessions from Gazprom this year.
Edison took RasGas to arbitration in March last year, and said on Tuesday that the International Chamber of Commerce’s court of arbitration had ruled in its favour. It added that arbitration was pending on its gas contracts with Libya and Algeria.
Edison’s supply deal with RasGas guarantees supplies of 6.4bn cubic meters of gas annually over 25 years to Italy’s offshore regasification terminal in Rovigo.
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