The Austrian gas market is composed of three market areas. Austria’s seven eastern provinces form the Market Area East. Tyrol and Vorarlberg, which are linked with the rest of Austria and each other via the German grid only, each form separate market areas. The distribution area manager is responsible for managing capacities and gas flows in the level 1 network of the respective market area. AGGM Austrian Gas Grid Management AG, in which Gas Connect Austria holds a share, is the distribution area manager in all three market areas.
The central hub for all gas flows in the market area is the virtual trading point (VTP), where gas can be traded after injection and prior to withdrawal within the market area. Consumers conclude a system access contract with the distribution system operator, which grants them transportation capacity between the VTP and their service connection branch; so that they can be supplied with gas by any supplier that has volumes of gas available at the VTP. In accordance with the market rules, storage operators and producers must also contract transportation capacity that they make available to their customers (the gas suppliers). Whoever intends to bring gas from sources outside of the market area to the VTP must hold the corresponding entry capacity on the transmission network. See also Capacities.