GASCADE – an independent transmission system operator

What influence do shareholders have on the business of the transmission system operator GASCADE?

The transport business of GASCADE Gastransport GmbH is not subject to the influence of a shareholder. GASCADE is a company under German law, has been organized as an independent, fully regulated transmission system operator on the basis of the German Energy Industry Act (EnWG) for the past ten years and is accordingly certified by the German Federal Network Agency. That means GASCADE is obligated by law to conduct its transmission business in a non-discriminatory manner and independently of its shareholders’ interests. An internal compliance program, a Compliance Officer and the Federal Network Agency supervise whether these obligations are met.

How is GASCADE’s independence ensured?

GASCADE is an independent transmission system operator in accordance with Section 10 of the German Energy Industry Act (EnWG) and is thus obligated by law to comply with the relevant unbundling and independence requirements in relation to its shareholders.

GASCADE’s independence was examined as part of a certification procedure in accordance with Section 4a EnWG and the company was awarded certification by the Federal Network Agency, with the involvement of the European Commission, in 2013. As a result, GASCADE meets all the requirements for ensuring that it is independent of its shareholders.

They include the following aspects:

  • GASCADE has the financial, technical, material and personnel resources to be able to ensure safe and reliable transmission system operation.
  • GASCADE has its own, independent personnel, who must not work for the shareholders.
  • GASCADE’s top management and some of its middle management are subject to stringent cooling-off regulations that prevent them moving to companies owned by shareholders.
  • GASCADE is not allowed to procure any services from its shareholders.
  • GASCADE has its own hardware and software systems that are completely separate from its shareholders’ IT systems.
  • GASCADE has headquarters that are completely separate from all shareholders and has its own access control systems.
  • GASCADE is obligated to keep sensitive and economically advantageous information on its own transmission business confidential from its shareholders.
  • GASCADE has an extensive internal compliance program that has been audited by the Federal Network Agency, as well as a Compliance Officer named by the Federal Network Agency who oversees compliance with these regulations and reports violations to the regulatory authority.

Compliance with these regulations ensures GASCADE’s independence and, in terms of its effect, is equivalent to ownership unbundling.

That means GASCADE’s shareholders have no influence on GASCADE’s transmission business or how the company is run.

Is GASCADE impacted by sanctions?

GASCADE’s gas infrastructure and transmission services are an important component in Germany’s and Europe’s energy supply security, also in view of the fact that diversification of energy sources will grow in importance in the future. That has been confirmed to us to date by political decision-makers and is also reflected in the fact that we are not subject to current European and U.S. sanctions and are not the focus of any potential tightening of sanctions. GASCADE is also not mentioned on the Russian list of sanctioned energy companies.