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Safe natural gas supply will remain a priority of Latvijas Gāze Group
On March 20, 2020 the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia rendered a judgment in joined cases “On the compliance of Section 42.3 Paragraph one of the Energy Law (in the wording effective until March 7, 2016) with Articles 64 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia and on the compliance of Articles 56, 58 and 87 of the Cabinet Regulations No.1048 dated December 16, 2008 “Rules of supply and use of natural gas” with Articles 64 and 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia and Section 42.3 Paragraph one of the Energy Law (in the wording effective until March 7, 2016)”. The main change following the Constitutional Court judgment is that from now onwards the amount of compensation in relevant civil disputes on illegal consumption of natural gas shall be determined by the court.
In the judgment the Constitutional Court found that the obligation laid down in the contested legal provision to pay for the natural gas consumed, and in the event of malicious damage of gas supply infrastructure – also compensation, was geared towards a continuous, safe and quality functioning of the energy supply system and it complies with the Constitution. Albeit the violation of the rules on use of the natural gas may lead not only to a free-of-charge consumption of natural gas, i.e., a finite resource, and the consequent rise in tariffs, but also to a functional disruption of the natural gas supply system which may cause disastrous incidents.
“Latvijas Gāze is a company which devotes the utmost effort in its daily work to ensuring that our customers feel safe and fully protected from possible risks of gas supply accidents. Last year across the group we discovered over 300 meters with clear traces of tampering. This means that the sites in question have consumed gas free of charge. However, most importantly, such actions pose threat to human health and life. We will therefore continue to work responsibly on discovering illegal connections which constitute a real threat to human safety, and everyone should understand this,” underlines Aigars Kalvītis, Chairman of the Board of the JSC “Latvijas Gāze”.
“The fact that the Constitutional Court has found the restriction laid down in the law compliant with the Constitution testifies to the state awareness of the importance of safety of gas supply. The fact that the Constitutional Court holds that the Cabinet of Ministers itself had to determine the amount of compensation and the procedure of its calculation and it could not delegate this duty over to the natural gas system operator does not revoke the statutory obligation to pay for the natural gas consumed, and in the event of malicious damage of gas supply infrastructure – also compensation,” say the legal experts of the JSC “Latvijas Gāze”.
Additional information: Elita Dreimane
Phone: + (371) 67 369 142