The Gas Regulations were established to provide a structured and regulated system for natural gas companies wishing to be licensed to operate in Northern Ireland.
They set out the manner and form in which applications for a gas conveyance, storage or supply licence, or extensions to an existing gas licence, should be made and the fee payable for each type of application. In
addition, they specify the information that applicants must provide in order for the Utility Regulator to consider granting a licence.
As part of the implementation in Northern Ireland of the Third European package of Directives and Regulations on market liberalisation in the energy sector (IME3), the Department brought forward The Gas and Electricity (Internal Markets) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011. Amongst other provisions, these Regulations amended Article 8(1) and Article 8(2) of the Gas (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 by removing the Department’s consenting role in the gas licence application process. The powers to grant a gas conveyance, storage or supply licence, or to extend an existing gas licence, now lie solely with the Utility Regulator.
In order to reflect this change in the Department’s role in the gas licence application process, it is proposed that all references to the Department in regulations 5(b), 6(2) and 6(3) in the Gas Regulations should be removed. These regulations cover arrangements for the lodgment and publication of gas licence applications and should now reference only the Utility Regulator.