PRISMA: Who we are
PRISMA European Capacity Platform GmbH is an international IT company based in Leipzig, Germany. We are committed to two main goals: (1) securing Europe’s energy supply and (2) enabling the Green Transition for a sustainable energy future. We believe these two goals are compatible and can be achieved with one strategy: digital innovation.
But what does that mean exactly?
PRISMA develops and runs the PRISMA Platform, Europe’s leading gas capacity marketplace. Our platform digitally connects over 20 markets, providing fair and transparent access to the European energy infrastructure for more than 3.000 energy players. In 2022, besides our regular capacity auctions for transport and storage capacity, we started conducting LNG capacity auctions.
PRISMA, therefore, facilitates the transportation of gas in Europe by bringing operators and shippers together on one easy-to-navigate platform. Users can seamlessly acquire transport and storage capacity in auctions, which guarantee the fair price of allocation in a transparent manner. So, the flow of gas from one market area or country couldn’t be smoother, since the entire process takes place on one platform, one screen, right before your eyes.
That's how we safeguard the transparency and reliability of gas transport and storage in the continent. Whether you are a Transmission System Operator (TSO), a Storage System Operator (SSO), an liquefied natural gas (LNG) Operator or a Shipper, check out how the PRISMA Platform can make your life easier and more stress-free.
Bespoke backend services
Bespoke Backend Services
Our aim is to offer software solutions to make our customers' work lives more intuitive and efficient. To that end, we develop software products based on your individual needs and projects. As an Operator, for instance, you may wish to simplify your system by running the entire gas capacity lifecycle on PRISMA: from capacity availability calculation, through contract management, financial security validation, to invoice submission - all with absolute clarity and uncompromising security. We’ve accomplished just that for Trans Austria Gasleitung GmbH. If you’re curious about this success story, take a look at our blog.
AggregateEU - the joint tendering service for Europe
In 2022, the European Commission created the EU Energy Platform to facilitate purchases of gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) across the continent. At their behest, PRISMA developed and now operates AggregateEU, an IT tool whose purpose is to aggregate gas demand from EU or Energy Community companies, and then match this demand to the most competitive supply offers before the next storage replenishment season. You can learn more about the AggregateEU project here.
Trac-x: How it all started
The Secondary Market was first
Yet, how did we get here? How did PRISMA become what it is today?
We were not always PRISMA. Back in March 2005, a company called “Trac-x” was founded in Leipzig by Verbundnetz Gas (VNG). The company’s goal was to provide an online marketplace for gas transport capacity, focusing primarily on the secondary market.
Then, one year later, the German Gas Network Access Ordinance made the creation of such a virtual marketplace a matter of legal necessity. They issued a ruling which compelled German gas grid operators to create a single online trading platform for gas transport capacity in the secondary market.
In virtue of its foresight, Trac-x was already well-positioned to help operators adapt to this new reality. So, even before these regulations came into effect, most transport capacity trades on the secondary market happened on Trac-x.
The Primary Market was second
In 2010, Trac-x was commissioned by German TSOs to set up and operate a single platform for the allocation of primary gas capacity in Germany. Until then, primary capacity was separately marketed by German grid operators on their own individual platform.
With the launch of Trac-x Primary Market in August 2011, shippers were able, for the first time, to buy firm capacity at German border and market area network points in one place. This groundbreaking experiment within Germany proved so successful that it soon attracted the attention of network operators in other countries.
So, at the 2012 FLAME Gas Conference in Amsterdam, 16 TSOs from several European countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build a joint European Capacity Platform. The initiative aimed to merge various capacity trading platforms (Capsquare, Link4Hubs, TRAC-X) into one easily accessible and manageable platform.
Trading gas capacity was about to get a whole lot simpler.
PRISMA: A European Idea
In December 2012, only a few months after the Memorandum of Understanding was signed, Trac-x officially became a part of PRISMA European Capacity Platform GmbH. Compared to the idea behind Trac-x, the goal of this new trading platform was astronomically larger and loftier: this was an European Idea, a project that brought together TSOs from many nations with different concerns and perspectives.
Finally, in March 2013, nineteen major TSOs from seven European countries announced the upcoming launch of the new PRISMA European Capacity Platform. Not long after, on 1 April 2013, our company ran its first transport capacity auctions on the primary market. Then, in January 2014, PRISMA “relaunched” the secondary market. The next logical step was to bring the storage market into our community. And, since January 2017, SSOs have been able to run storage offers on our platform.
For the past few years, PRISMA has adopted a product mindset, grown strategically and insourced core competencies. We wanted to exercise more control over our services and products to ensure their quality for our customers. In that spirit, we established an in-house Customer Success Team in 2018, which was followed by our own People & Culture Team in 2019. Then, the first big wave of software engineers joined the same year: an ambitious step in implementing our strategy to maintain and develop products in-house. If you are curious, you can meet our new and old teams right here.
It turns out growing up is healthy. Our platform has exponentially improved. Our services have grown more reliable and efficient. Overall, we, as a company, became better positioned to expand our product base with respect to the development of new backend solutions. In recognition of these achievements, our shareholders approved our request to work on such projects in November 2019.
Getting ready for the future
Immediately, we begun pursuing our new goal of expanding our services to create more value for the gas market. Our approach, however, remained the same: we aim to develop software solutions to make our customers’ work lives easier and more efficient.
In 2020, PRISMA got its first project. We began to develop a new backend system with Trans Austria Gasleitung GmbH. On this system, TAG users would be able to calculate capacity amounts at their network points, manage contracts, process financial securities, and administer the entire invoicing lifecycle on the PRISMA platform with uttermost transparency and security.
This effort was tremendously successful. As such, it became a blueprint for future projects.
A New PRISMA Vision
Then, in 2021, we agreed on a new company vision with our shareholders. More than ever, it became necessary to contend with the gravity of the climate crisis in which we find ourselves. So, as a key market stakeholder, PRISMA acknowledged the responsibility to strive towards a more sustainable future. Hence, our new vision: “We connect energy markets enabling the Green Transition”.
Yet, what does that mean concretely?
We firmly believe that green gases, such as hydrogen and biomethane, will play a crucial role in the sustainable energy future of Europe. Yet, our work begins in the present. PRISMA is already developing strategies to provide the necessary digital infrastructure to connect such markets and accelerate the transition into a greener, better future.
Off to new endeavours
That brings us to 2022. The global energy landscape was radically changed by the war in Ukraine. And PRISMA had to adapt to the new realities of a turbulent time. In any way we could, we collaborated with other stakeholders to stabilize the European gas market and support our community. Suddenly, securing Europe’s energy supply in the present and the near future became a matter of uttermost urgency. We made that mission our own.
One significant initiative to achieve that goal took place in December 2022: PRISMA held its first LNG auction.
Another, more ambitious initiative started in January 2023, when we won a tender to develop AggregateEU at the behest of the European Commission. AggregateEU is a service for gas demand aggregation and joint tendering promoted by the EU Energy Platform.
The main thrust of this project is elegantly simple: by aggregating gas demand in public tenders, we can ensure that European buyers have greater leverage on the global market and don’t end up outbidding one another. This is how AggregateEU will support EU and Energy Community Countries in their effort to secure sufficient gas supplies for the upcoming winter (2023/2024). You can learn more about the AggregateEU project here.
The next big projects will surely come. And PRISMA will rise to the occasion in service of its two overarching aims: securing Europe’s energy supply and enabling the Green Transition through digital innovation.
PRISMA is Europe’s leading gas capacity trading platform. With the ability to serve a high number of TSO and SSO backend systems, PRISMA provides a single platform through which TSOs, SSOs and shippers may market gas capacity at both primary and secondary market levels.