The Norwegian Government and the companies involved maintain that the GFU system was imposed upon the companies by the Norwegian State and hence was in compliance with the competition rules of the EC or the EEA.
The GFU system was abolished by Royal Decree on June 21, 2001. Consequently, the companies on the Norwegian Continental Shelf are now at liberty to sell their own gas individually. On this basis, Norsk Hydro has given the European Commission confirmation that it will market and sell its gas individually.
In accordance with its current trading practice, Norsk Hydro has agreed to make available on commercially competitive terms a total of 2.2 bcm of gas to new customers in the period from June 1, 2001 to September 30, 2005. A part of this volume has already been contracted.
" I am very satisfied that this matter has been resolved in such a favorable manner. The sales commitments we have made will be discharged within the scope of the strategy drawn up for Hydro's sales of gas. We are also very pleased with the cooperation we have enjoyed with the Norwegian authorities in this matter," states Hydro's President and CEO Eivind Reiten.
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