Israel’s P.Z. Projects (www.projects.org.il) is launching a novel software platform that enables the registering of transactions between companies that are active in the global natural gas sector. Developed over a two-year period, the platform has been successfully tested by several leading local players who are active in the gas market.
The platform allows players in the gas sector, including both consumers and gas marketing companies, to list their proposals for buying or selling of natural gas, to establish direct contact with potential partners and fully document the trade within the system after negotiations are conducted by the parties outside of the platform. A gas consumer interested in selling surplus gas by using the platform lists the volume available for sale, the asking price and the time at which the gas will be available for delivery. The process greatly simplifies the buying and selling of surplus gas.
The platform’s business model is based on the sale annual licenses of the software program. Beyond the initial development of the program for the customer, P.Z. Projects may also customize the program in accordance with the needs of the customer as part of maintenance and upgrading agreements.
The development of the platform is the result of the economic and business environment that has emerged in Israel over the past decade following the discovery of huge offshore gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean. These discoveries have led to the need for technologies and services that have been specifically adapted for the use of gas in an industrial environment. On the global scale, demand for gas is the fastest growing form of energy in terms of both consumption and production. According to estimates by energy experts, if the current trend continues, natural gas will be the leading source of energy in the world by 2050.
P.Z. Projects CEO Carmi Zinger, who led the development of the new platform, says “up to now transactions in the natural gas market were conducted and registered through a manual and unofficial process based on personal contacts over the phone, using email and numerous pages of Excel documents.This form of trading typically permitted only two-sided trading between two parties.”
Zinger adds that the platform developed by P.Z. Projects is not only limited to improving the efficiency of the trading process but also impact the overall market, by creating operational flexibility for all players in the sector. He noted that from a purely market perspective, the expected penetration of the platform into the gas sector will enable each and every buyer and seller to be exposed to a large number of potential trading partners and therefore obtain the best deal from a price, quantity and availability perspective.
As Zinger sees it “this will open the door to a much freer, more competitive and sophisticated market in the gas sector.” From a purely economic standpoint, he adds that players in the sector will gain a new stream of revenue through the sale of gas to new customers and will avert losses from the need to store surplus gas. In addition, Zinger notes that from an operational flexibility point of view large quantities of gas can be transferred from one customer to another without the direct involvement of the original supplier. As a result he believes the P.Z. Projects’ platform will upgrade the actual trading process in the gas sector and will lead to a sharp increase in the volume and number of transactions.