In 1998 the process of deregulating the gas sector in Spain began with the publication of the Hydrocarbons Act. This Act forced the separation of transport networks and the role of System Technical Manager from distribution networks and commercialisation.
Thanks to the new situation in the Spanish gas sector, with excellent possibilities for growth and development, two major shareholders joined the other shareholders of Catalana de Gas: La Caixa and Repsol.
With the support of these two shareholders a new business project was rolled out involving the integration of the gas distribution sector in Spain (with the merger of Catalana de Gas, Gas Madrid and Repsol Butano's piped gas shares).
As a result a new company was set up in 1992, Gas Natural SDG, S.A., which, in the same year, began a process of international expansion in Latin America, beginning with Argentina and continuing in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico in subsequent years.
Between 1985 and 1993 the gas supply came mainly from LNG (liquefied natural gas). In 1993 the first international connection of the Spanish gas system, in Larrau, France, started up and in 1996 the Maghreb-Europe pipeline was inaugurated. It runs from the gas field in Algeria, passing through Morocco (transit country) and connects with mainland Spain in Tarifa.
In 1998 the process of liberalising the gas sector in Spain began with the publication of the Hydrocarbons Act. This Act forced the separation of transport networks and the role of System Technical Manager from distribution networks and commercialisation.
21st century: The development of natural gas consumption
End consumption of natural gas grew strongly until the crisis of 2008-9. This increased gas consumption was driven by:
Between 1985 and 2000, the growing use of gas in industrial processes together with a gradual increase in home use.
Beginning in 2002, the installation of combined cycle natural gas plants that use natural gas as fuel for power generation, increasing performance, reducing costs and CO, CO2, NOx emissions, and practically eliminating the emission of particles and sulphur derivatives.
In Spain, the Gas Natural Group pioneered the introduction of combined cycle plants, starting up the San Roque plant in Cádiz in 2002.
In line with the development of the gas market during these years, Gas Natural has continued its expansion in Europe and Latin America while diversifying its activity, entering the exploitation and production of gas business as well as the wind power market. As a result, in 2005 the company became one of the main wind power operators in Spain and with the creation of the Repsol-Gas Natural LNG joint venture, Stream has driven the LNG (liquefied natural gas) business. The acquisition of Unión Fenosa was completed in 2008 and 2010 saw the launch of the Gas Natural Fenosa brand.
Out of Spain's current housing stock of 22 million dwellings, 7.2 million (33%) have a natural gas supply. Gas Natural Fenosa is the largest integrated natural gas and electricity company in Spain and Latin America. It has a presence in 25 countries and nearly 20 million customers worldwide.
About Gas Natural Fenosa
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