India to get its maiden gas trading platform

India will on Monday get its very own natural gas trading platform that will help discover local market price for gas through transparent demand-supply matching. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will launch the Indian Gas Exchange (IGX) to kickstart natural gas trading, official sources said. IGX is India’s first automated national level trading platform to promote and sustain an efficient and robust gas market and foster gas trading in the country. The platform will feature multiple buyers and sellers trading in spot and forward contracts at designated physical hubs. IGX is a neutral and transparent market-place where both buyers and sellers will trade gas as the underlying commodity. The contracts traded at IGX are for compulsory specific physical delivery and settlement of the trade is subject to the condition that such contracts are non-transferable in nature and without any netting-off thereby. Sources said IGX will enable efficient and competitive discovery of gas prices and one of its most important objectives is also to maintain market integrity. Initially, trading is proposed to commence at the physical hubs at Hazira and Dahej in Gujarat and Oduru/Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. Going forward, new hubs would be introduced, they said. For price discovery, the exchange will invite time scheduled bids from buyers and sellers, on which a price discovery mechanism will be run to settle delivery of gas. It will offer six market products — day-ahead, daily, weekly, weekdays, fortnightly and monthly.Some of these contracts will be available on Day 1 of trading, that is June 15, while some will be introduced later, they said. IGX has successfully held three mock trading sessions (March 20, April 9 and May 21) with significant participation from the industry. IGX technology platform provides rapid, accurate, secure and efficient trade, catering to the requirements of pre-and post-trade functionalities with the capability to handle complex orders. The bidding is done in an anonymous manner, where the buyer and seller do not know their counterpart. The price discovery will be either through double-sided closed auction with uniform price mechanism or through continuous trade mechanisms. In a double-sided closed auction, the participants input their bids to buy/sell at a specific price point. The market will determine one single uniform market clearing price. In continuous trade, the price will be matched based on bids and offers in continuous sessions. Sources said the bids will be monitored securely to ensure the highest integrity and efficacy of the marketplace. The platform also provides counterpart guarantee in terms of fund obligation to its members.

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