Specializations


Practice areas

Our
Practice Areas

Energy, mobility and transport


Presentation


Among the areas practised at Janson, an entire department is devoted to energy and transport Law. A team of 12 lawyers works in the international, European and national energy and transport sectors and advises numerous governments, regulatory bodies and companies in this field.

The department specialises in the liberalisation of the energy (electricity, gas and oil) and transport (rail, road, air) markets in European Member states such as Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom and Romania, as well as in non-European countries and regions such as Algeria, Turkey, Morocco, Qatar, Madagascar, Laos, Tajikistan, Central Asia and Africa (Burundi, Cameroon, DR Congo, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, ...).
 

The department is headed by one of the firm's partners, Guy Block. Guy is a member of both the Brussels and the Paris Bar and has been practising in the field of the energy and transport for more than 32 years. Similarly, Laurence Hage, a partner and member of the Brussels Bar, has nearly 15 years of experience in the field of energy. 

As European energy markets have liberalised and concerns about energy supply and environmental protection have increased, the department has developed sound expertise in energy law on a wide range of regulatory, commercial and corporate matters.
The department has developed its practice in both the public and the private energy sectors. Approximately one-third of its practice is involved with governments and public authorities, while the other two-thirds provides assistance to national and international private market players, such as electricity producers, liquefied natural gas shippers or electricity and gas suppliers. The practice serves both national and international actors. Almost half of the practice today is devoted to projects abroad (within and outside EU) while the other half deals with Belgian business. 

The department's practice covers every step of the energy process, from drafting laws and regulations to drafting contracts for supply of gas and electricity to end customers. In particular, it has been active in regulatory issues, in advice to new entrants, in permit-related matters, in renewable energy issues and in international cooperation.

The department has longstanding experience in the liberalisation of the transport markets, having advised both public and private entities on regulatory, commercial and litigation issues. Its expertise in transport law is especially strong in the rail, air and road sectors. 

Corporate Int selected the energy department of Janson as "Natural Resources Law Firm of the Year in Belgium" in 2013. Nom we are also referenced every year in the LEGAL 500 and in Chambers and Partners. 
          

Our practice


In the energy sector

Regulatory and tariff issues 
Guy Block and his Department are known in the energy sector for having realised the transposition into Belgian federal and regional law of both the first (Directives 96/92/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 December 1996 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and 98/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 1998 concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas) and second (Directives 2003/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2003 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 96/92/EC and 2003/55/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2003 concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas and repealing Directive 98/30/EC) Directives liberalising the energy markets in Europe. This work included drafting laws and secondary legislation, as well as technical grid codes. Our department also assisted in the drafting of legislation and regulations in other European countries, such as Luxembourg, France and Romania, as well as in non-European countries such as Tajikistan, Turkey, Morocco, Iran and Qatar. Past work of our department in this area includes:
  • Drafting of Belgian federal legislation implementing the first and second Electricity and Gas Directives (Directives 96/92/EC and 2003/54/EC for electricity and Directives 98/30/EC and 2003/55/EC for gas), including grid codes, tariffs, public service obligations and dispute resolution mechanisms;
  • Assistance to the government of the Brussels Region with the transposition of the second Electricity and Gas Directives (Directives 2003/54/EC and 2003/55/EC) and the amendment of the existing Electricity and Gas Ordinances;
  • Assistance to Belgian regional governments with the transposition of Directive 2006/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2006 on energy end-use efficiency and energy services and repealing Council Directive 93/76/EEC;
  • Assistance to the government of Tajikistan with reforming its energy sector with financing from the Asian Development Bank;
  • Assistance to the Belgian federal and regional Governments with the transposition into federal and regional law of Directive 2001/77/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 September 2001 on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market;
  • Assistance to Belgian federal and regional governments with the implementation of the Protocol of Kyoto and the transposition into federal and regional law of Directive 2003/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 2003 establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community and amending Council Directive 96/61/EC;
  • Assistance to the Belgian federal government with the implementation of Directive 2003/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 May 2003 on the promotion of the use of biofuels or other renewable fuels for transport;
  • Assistance to the government of the Brussels Region on the implementation of Directive 2002/91/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2002 on the energy performance of buildings;
  • Drafting of legislation relating to the phasing out of nuclear power plants and funding for decommissioning;
  • Assistance to the Belgian regulator with tariff structures in the electricity and gas sectors;
  • Assistance with transport tariffs relating to local production;
  • Assistance with the application of tariffs to gas transit activities;
Advice to new entrants 
In connection with the liberalisation of the electricity and gas markets, our department has developed a strong practice assisting major energy players with entry into the European electricity and gas markets. In particular, we have given advice on competition issues relating to long-term gas and electricity supply contracts, TOP clauses, price rebates and price fixing, multi-site contracts, green certificates and default supply mechanisms. We have also advised on the allocation of the available electricity capacity to new entrants.

Our work in this area has included the following projects:
  • Advice on close market issues to new entrants in the Belgian energy markets (access and access responsible contracts, contacts with regulatory authorities);
  • Advice to a major gas supplier on access to and participation in the Zeebrugge Hub;
  • Advice on the coupling of the French, Dutch and Belgian electricity markets to allow easier and more transparent access to new entrants;
  • Assistance with the organisation of a Belgian power exchange for the allocation of the available electricity capacities;
  • Assistance to regulatory authorities with the setting up of an auction mechanism for Belgian virtual power plants;
  • Advice on taxation of energy and benchmarking covenants;
  • Assistance to a gas and electricity supplier with obtaining purchased green certificates;
  • Drafting of contracts for the purchase of green certificates and guarantees of origin (general and special conditions);
  • Assistance and advice on issues raised by the invoicing of public service obligations by system operators;
Permits
Along with advice to new entrants, our department has a longstanding practice in the assistance of major energy players with the erection of new power plants, fuelled both by fossil fuels and renewable sources of energy. In this respect, we have developed contacts with the necessary regulatory authorities and permit-issuing administrations, as well as corporate and contractual mechanisms within the regulated framework of network access.
In particular, our department has taken part in the following projects:
  • Advice to electricity operators on the erection of a biomass-fuelled cogeneration unit: strategic advice, financial advice, etc.
  • Advice to major Belgian industrials on the acquisition of a significant share of electricity production capacity output (approximately 14 TWh/year) in return for a 20-year investment, and on the possible erection of an 800 MW clean coal power plant;
  • Advice on the construction of a 400 MW auto-production plant (BOO), with an impact on transmission and greenhouse gas emission permit costs;
  • Assistance and strategic advice to a foreign investor on the construction of a high-efficiency cogeneration unit in Romania (heat and power and urban district heating);
  • Assistance with the construction of a 400 MW combined cycle gas turbine by private operators (project financing);
  • Assistance with the construction of a 420 MWE gas turbine power plant and a 65 MWE gas power plant;
  • Assistance with the construction of a 70 MW cogeneration power plant;
  • Assistance with the filing of applications with Belgian regulators for change of control of power plants;
  • Assistance to a local producer of electricity with various issues linked to private grids.
Energy contracts (connection agreements, access contracts, supply contracts, public service obligations) 
While assisting new entrants and in the delivery permits, our team has drafted numerous contracts essential to the liberalisation of the energy markets. In particular, we have undertaken the following projects:
  • Assistance with the drafting of contracts and general conditions for supply of gas and electricity to industrial, small and medium sized and residential consumers at the Belgian federal and regional levels;
  • Assistance with ensuring the compatibility of energy contracts with public service obligations;
  • Assistance with the drafting and negotiation of connection contracts, access responsible party contracts, balancing contracts, access contracts, etc.; 
  • Drafting of gas transit service agreements;
  • Assistance with the drafting of strategic supply agreements of electricity and gas;
  • Assistance with the renegotiation of gas transit contracts;
Renewable energy issues
In the face of growing concerns about environmental protection and energy security of supply, our department have developed a strong practice in the production of electricity from renewable energy sources. In particular, it has assisted with the setting up of green certificate schemes and  the erection of green energy power plants. We have also advised on the development of emerging renewable energy sources such as hydrogen, and on the setting up of emissions trading schemes and the use of flexible mechanisms in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol. In this respect, the Energy & Transport Department has taken part in the following projects:
  • Assistance to the Belgian governments with the setting up of federal and regional green certificate schemes;
  • Assistance to a Belgian regional government with the drafting, negotiation and adaptation of legislative provisions to promote and support decentralised production and supply of electricity;
  • Assistance to the Brussels-Capital and Walloon governments with the creation of a green certificate stock exchange;
  • Assistance to the Brussels-Capital and Moroccan governments with the creation of a reciprocal green certificate mechanism; 
  • Assistance to electricity suppliers with litigation relating to support for renewable energy in the Flemish Region;
  • Assistance and strategic advice relating to the erection and financing of wind farms;
  • Assistance and strategic advice relating to the erection and financing of biomass-fuelled cogeneration power units;
  • Assistance with the construction of a 70 MW cogeneration power plant;
  • Assistance and advice to a major fuel cell components producer rlelating to support within the European framework;
  • Assistance with the erection of stationary hydrogen fuel cell applications;
  • Assistance with emission permits and Kyoto flexible mechanisms;
  • Assistance with the erection of solar panels;
  • Study for a Belgian regulator relating to the development of decentralised production units.
Liquified natural gas
Our team has considerable expertise in the field of LNG. In particular, we have undertaken the following projects:
  • Assistance to major gas producers with the assignment of LNG slots as well as transit facilities in Belgium;
  • Assistance to major gas actors with due diligence on up-stream LNG installation financing;
  • Assistance to large LNG shippers at Zeebrugge LNG new terminal with drafting capacity subscription agreements (slots, terminalling contract, maritime issues, etc.);
  • Assistance to major energy players with extension investments in the Zeebrugge LNG Terminal;
  • Assistance to a major player with obtaining a licence for gas storage;
  • Advice to a major gas supplier with access to and the participation in the Zeebrugge Hub (slots, authorisation, tariffs, maritime issues, etc.);
  • Assistance to large consumers of gas (more than 15% of the Belgian liberalised market) with switching to another supplier (including balancing, tariffs, connections to interconnector and Zeebrugge hub);
  • Assistance with tax and VAT issues relating to LNG delivery in Belgium;
  • Assistance with the application of tariffs to the activities of gas transit;
  • Assistance with the transfer of shares in a company active in the transit of gas;
  • Analysis of the gas grid code for a major operator in Luxembourg.
Nuclear
We have also developed considerable expertise in nuclear energy. The following projects may be mentioned:
  • Drafting of legislation relating to the phasing out of nuclear power plants and to funding for decommissioning;
  • Assistance to major nuclear control authorities with the affiliation of companies;
  • Drafting of a position paper relating to nuclear power plants in Belgium;
  • Assistance to producers of electricity with the erection of a nuclear power plant.
International cooperation
On the basis of its practice developed in European countries, our department regularly takes part in international projects funded by international and European banks such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

For example, our department was recently appointed by the Asian Development Bank to assist the Tajik government with the liberalisation of its electricity market and the restructuring of the national incumbent electricity operator. Through this project, we became deeply involved in the Inogate process. Inogate stands for Interstate Oil and Gas Transport to Europe, and is an international co-operation programme that aims to promote the regional integration of the pipeline systems, to facilitate the transport of oil and gas both within the Caucasus and Black Sea regions and towards Europe, and to attract private and public investors (www.inogate.org). Guy Block took part in the Inogate Conference held in Brussels on 7 and 8 November 2006, meeting several representatives of Central and Eastern Asian countries and giving a presentation to the conference, on behalf of the Tajik government, on the current project for the liberalisation of the Tajik electricity markets.

Our department was also appointed by the Asian Development Bank to assist the Laotian transmission system operator with the constitution of a special vehicle company for the transmission of electricity from Laos to Thailand.

We are also representing private investors in Romania for the possible erection of a cogeneration power plant. Guy Block also participated in a project between the Brussels-Capital and Moroccan governments for the setting up of a green certificate scheme in Morocco and its reciprocity with the Brussels-Capital scheme. In this context, he assisted the Moroccan government and private investors with the erection of wind farms as well as with the development of electrical interconnections with neighbouring countries.

Our department also assisted the Iranian Government with the generation of energy from biomass and the Turkish gas transmission system operator with the management of its gas and oil interconnections with neighbouring countries.
Litigation and arbitration in the energy sector Our team regularly acts before Belgian civil and administrative courts. Guy Block also regularly acts before the European Court of Justice and arbitration institutions. He is part of the ICC, the LCIA, the IAI, the CEPANI, the CWaPE (Walloon Commission for the Energy) and BRUGEL (Brussels-Capital Commission for Energy).

The following are among the legal cases and arbitrations in which our team has been involved:
  • Litigation relating to transport and distribution tariffs;
  • Litigation relating to offshore production of electricity;
  • Litigation relating to the taxes applicable to the use of the gas and electricity grids;
  • Litigation on behalf of a major electricity producer and supplier relating to electricity tariffs;
  • Litigation on behalf of an electricity supplier relating to access to the Belgian electricity market; 
  • Litigation on behalf of a major Belgian industrial relating to tariff schemes for transport-related services; 
  • Litigation relating to renewable support in the Flemish Region (green and cogeneration certificates);
  • Litigation on behalf of the Belgian federal government relating to tariff issues;
  • Litigation before state courts, the Council of State and arbitration bodies relating to the opening up of the electricity market, including competition issues, green certificates, right of access, obligations of TSO, etc.;
  • Assistance to operators with litigation relating to grid access and to tariffs;
  • Advice to a major energy producer and trader (gas and electricity) in Luxembourg on arbitration procedures;
  • Assistance with arbitration procedures for the execution of contracts;
  • Litigation relating to the free movement of goods.

In the transport sector

Railway transport
The following are among the projects completed by Guy Block involving advice on the liberalisation of rail transport:
  • Establishment of a European consortium for rail transport by means of high speed lines (including financial, technical and legal issues);
  • Project financing and quotation of the Channel Tunnel; 
  • Creation of a joint venture for the establishment of a multimodal road and rail company;
  • Assistance with a joint venture for passenger rail transport;
  • Drafting of general conditions for transportation of goods and containers by train;
  • Assistance to railway transport and moving companies with the drafting of their general conditions of carriage and/or warehousing;
  • Drafting of contracts relating to the bulk of transport by rail and private wagons;
  • Assistance with rail slot systems;
  • Assistance with rail accidents; 
  • Assistance to passengers and transport companies with ensuring compliance with immigration regulations.
Air transport
The following are among the projects completed by Guy Block involving advice on the liberalisation of air transport:
  • Assistance with the seizure and public sale by auction of an aeroplane (Airbus A 310);
  • Numerous legal cases relating to air transport and the CMR and Warsaw conventions (including parcel transport);
  • Assistance to transport and moving companies with the drafting of their general conditions of carriage and/or warehousing;
  • Assistance with judicial proceedings relating to air traffic control;
  • Assistance with the establishment of new aviation routes;
  • Assistance with noise control at airports;
  • Assistance with air safety control;
  • Assistance with air cargo.
Road transport
The following are among the projects completed by Guy Block involving advice on the liberalisation of road transport:
  • Creation of a joint venture for the establishment of a multimodal road and rail company; 
  • Numerous legal cases relating to road transport and the CMR and Warsaw conventions (including parcel transport;
  • Assistance to transport and moving companies with the drafting of their general conditions of carriage and/or warehousing.

Interventions


In the Energy Sector

  • Assistance in the transposition of major European directives for the liberalization of the energy markets, the promotion of the production of electricity from renewable sources and the energy efficiency;
  • Drafting and assistance in the negotiation and adoption of project laws and secondary legislations, as well as technical grid codes in European and non European Countries;
  • Advice related to the entry of new players into recently liberalized energy markets, notably with regard to competition issues related to long-term gas and electricity supply contracts, TOP clauses, price rebates and price fixing, multi-sites contracts, green certificates and default supplying mechanisms and allocation of the available electricity to new entrants;
  • Assistance to major energy players in the erection of new power plants. In this respect, our Department developed contacts with the necessary regulatory authorities and permitting authorizations, as well as corporate and contractual mechanisms within the regulated framework of network access;
  • Drafting of essential contracts to the liberalization of the energy markets, such as supply contracts, connection contracts, access responsible party contracts, balancing contracts, access contracts, gas transit contracts, etc.;
  • Assistance in the setting-up of schemes to support the production of electricity from renewable energy sources and/or quality cogeneration (such as feed-in-tariffs and green certificates);
  • Assistance in the setting-up of emissions trading scheme;
  • Assistance in the setting-up of support schemes for energy efficiency (energy subsidies);
  • Assistance in the use of the flexible mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol;
  • Assistance in the setting-up and operation of a LNG Terminal;
  • Assistance in the drafting of legislation, position papers and in the affiliation of companies in the field of nuclear energy;
  • Litigation and arbitration for energy players;
  • Legal expertise in international projects funded by international and European banks.

In the Transport Sector

  • Establishment of transport consortium;
  • Project financing and quotation of international transport projects;
  • Creation of transport joint ventures;
  • Drafting of essential contracts such as general conditions for the transportation of goods and passengers;
  • Litigation in road, railways and air transport;
  • Assistance in the seizure and public sale by auction of an airplane.

Our team


* s.c.r.l Janson Baugniet c.v.b.a.


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