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Gasgrid’s 1st year

I am re-reading the materiality assessment concerning our responsibility work a couple of days before Christmas. In it, our stakeholders’ views of what is expected of a responsible Gasgrid are summarised. Safety, security of supply and equality come up as primary matters, and after these, mitigation of climate change, openness, as well as a skilled and healthy personnel.

Therefore, Gasgrid’s first year as a developer of Finland’s gas transmission infrastructure and operator in an open gas market, operating on it can be considered successful based on these criteria. Safety was at a good level for us and our partners. It is our aim that everyone involved in our operations gets home safely after work. Our operational reliability has been top level, and this, along with safety, is among the things we do not compromise on. The global pandemic showed the importance of security of supply and preparedness. In February, when the risk level rose, we reviewed our contingency plan regarding the pandemic and successfully launched countermeasures. Our customers have also told us about their satisfaction. The competitiveness of gases has improved, and the market has worked well. These messages inspire us, because particularly our customer-facing professionals and those working to ensure security of supply have worked flexibly and bravely to achieve this. We take these insights and feedback as guidelines for the next year.

What made it possible for a small organisation to succeed in the middle of a big change – and when in addition, one of the biggest crises in recent history in the form of COVID-19 hit us? I think it is crystallised in a great way in our recently defined values, which our personnel were responsible for identifying.

We acknowledge our responsibility – our company is driven by a strong sense of responsibility toward our customers, our stakeholders and the society. Competent professionals tirelessly strive to combine responsibility, safety, customer orientation, efficiency and agility into good decisions. I can see this commitment in the actions taken every day. A top expert in a critical device leaves on a weekend to ensure its correct operation. A customer team prioritises its tasks so that we can take the necessary measures very quickly when a sudden need arises for a customer. And in a repair situation, we agree with the customer about using gas at the right time to avoid methane emissions. Gasgrid aims to be the best and the most customer-oriented gas industry operator at least in Europe. We believe we can achieve this with the commitment of a healthy and competent personnel. This will be our focus also in the coming years. Gasgrid’s operations started on 1 January 2020 at 00:00, after which not a second has passed when someone has not been taking care of the security of Finnish gas supply and the company’s operations. Particularly in this exceptional year of coronavirus, I want to thank every Gasgrid employee very much for their commitment and actions.

We are building the future – It has been great to see that in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, investments in the mitigation of climate change are growing in the EU and globally. We at Gasgrid, together with our stakeholders, prepared a new strategy. Our vision for 2035 is: Gases enable a carbon-neutral society – we provide a platform for it. We want to be a bold pioneer in change and a unifying factor in the industry. Our strategy has three external focus points: 1) Transmission platform of the future, 2) customer-oriented gas market and 3) responsible force for change. Hydrogen economy can transform Finland into an exporter of clean energy and flexibility. Increasing the use of biogas more actively could bring jobs throughout Finland even in the short term. In the climate and energy strategy to be prepared in 2021, ambitious milestones should be created for the coming years and a vision created regarding the roles of hydrogen economy, other P2X technologies and sector integration in Finland for 2030–2050. Although the world is now running at top speed, our conclusions should be drawn, and choices made in a coolheaded way. I would search for an answer to the question: where are the needs and competitive advantages of Finland – and what is their demand globally? It is important to launch pilots and demonstrations as quickly as possible so that we learn more about both the technologies and about the necessary market structures.

We work together – this is maybe the most important thing. Gasgrid’s operations are based on openness, fairness and good community spirit both inside the company and in extensive cooperation with our stakeholders. We want to be a reliable partner that is easy to approach. As a team, we take care of each other and let everyone be themselves. The market operators have been open in providing feedback to us. I value this dialogue, because based on it, we can prioritise the things that are important to you. Although there is still much to be developed in the regional gas markets, the structures and cooperation have deepened significantly with the gas grid companies in the Baltic countries. We continuously strive to develop the market structures and to communicate about the way the markets work so that our customers and societies would benefit from the existing infrastructure. We also work in cooperation with the European Commission and the region’s energy ministries as well as regulators to ensure that the markets develop. In Finland, we engage in extensive cooperation both within the gas sector, between the operators in security of supply, as well as in the development of the entire energy and raw material system. I thank all our stakeholders for the joint efforts, for our open and direct discussions, and for the trust shown in us in our first year of operations.

Acknowledging our responsibility, we continue building the future, working together. Wishing you all happy holidays and a successful year 2021,

Olli Sipilä
CEO, Gasgrid Finland Oy

Gasgrid Finland Oy is a Finnish state-owned company and transmission system operator with system responsibility. We offer our customers safe, reliable and cost-efficient transmission of gases. We actively develop our transmission platform, services and the gas market in a customer-oriented manner to promote the carbon-neutral energy and raw material system of the future. Find out more: www.gasgrid.fi/

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