Decree-Law 185/2003 contains the first set of rules aiming at the progressive liberalisation of the Portuguese electricity market and its adjustment to the Iberian Decree-Law 185/2003 of 20 August contains the first set of provisions aiming at the adjustment of the Portuguese electricity market to MIBEL. Although of a temporary nature, these rules shall be included in the comprehensive reform of the energy regulatory framework the Government is expected to enact until the end of 2003.
Under the provisions of this new Decree-Law, the trading of electricity shall take place in an organised market or under bilateral contracts. The agents of the National Electric System (Sistema ElÈctrico Nacional - "SEN") that will be carrying out their activities in the market are the producers, the traders and the external agents.
The producers hold a production license and may sell the electricity they produce both in the organised market or under bilateral contracts. The traders are in charge of the purchase and sale of electricity and may also intervene in the organised market or under bilateral contracts. It should also be noted that traders shall be subject to public service obligations and may, upon decision of the General Directorate for the Energy market (DirecÁ„o-Geral de Energia - "DGE"), be also subject to universal service obligations (supplier of last resort). These two issues shall be addressed in a separate Decree-Law. As to external agents, they shall be in charge of the import and export of electricity between markets.
In the market of bilateral contracts, traders and producers may enter into contracts for the purchase of electricity with any SEN agents. In the organised market, supply and demand for electricity shall meet in a system that allows the closing of several types of contracts. There will be a market operator in charge...