Our client is an infrastructure company operating on the Western European natural gas market. The company started out as the independent system operator in Belgium. Over the last years, it has acquired stakes in various natural gas projects across Europe. These acquisitions have turned the company into a major player in European gas transport, with now over 1000 employees. One of the projects in the company’s portfolio is a gas pipeline in Germany, supplying Norwegian gas to Switzerland and Italy. This pipeline is crucial for the supply of gas from Northern to Southern Europe. Our client is the transmission system operator (TSO) and commercializes a part of the system’s capacity.
For the German pipeline, a new regulation of the European Commission comes into force. A Network Code on Capacity Allocation Mechanisms (NC CAM) in gas transmission systems becomes mandatory. The main aim of this regulation is to encourage more cross-border trading and to improve liquidity on European gas markets. One of the NC CAM’s measures is the obligation for operators to implement the ‘Overnomination’ mechanism. This mechanism automatically offers extra capacity to grid users in case the normal capacity is sold out. This way, grid users can increase the amount of transported gas at the last minute.
The new mechanism for overnomination of the German pipeline was successfully implemented. We adhered to our customer’s way of working in delivering this type of projects. Specifically, we adopted the scrum methodology, drew our process models respecting BPMN notation rules and fully complied with UML in writing our business and functional specifications. The mechanism was deployed on time, so our client is now fully compliant with European legislation.
Next to compliance, the new mechanism has business benefits as well. It will increase revenues for our client by maximizing the pipeline’s sold capacity.
We were involved in this project from beginning to end. In the initial phase, we conducted a business analysis by gathering the requirements from all stakeholders. This first step resulted in an elaborate document, describing the business view on the project. In a second phase, we did a functional analysis. This led to a package of technical diagrams, translating the business requirements into functional IT specifications, enabling the development team to write the code. We actively guided the developers by providing assistance and feedback. Next, we defined test cases, set-up a test strategy and coordinated its execution with business users. To conclude a successful implementation track, we trained the application end-users and presented the new overnomination mechanism to business managers.
irex boasts knowledge of the natural gas market in both business and technical domains. The combination with our experience in business and functional analyses made irex the ideal partner to model this new mechanism and guide its implementation in our client’s complex value chain.
Our client praised our degree of conceptual thinking while adopting a focused ‘do-mentality’ and continued collaborating with irex on other complex change projects.