Stek has successfully represented Axpo Solutions AG in a preliminary ruling procedure regarding a public procurement.

The contracting authority, a consortium of ten organisations including several hospitals, had awarded Axpo a contract for the supply of natural gas. One of the losing candidates in the procurement appealed the decision of the consortium to award the contract to Axpo, arguing that Axpo could not rightfully supply natural gas to the low-capacity connections in the consortium because Axpo lacks a supplier license.

Under Dutch energy law, suppliers are in principle required to obtain a supplier license from the energy regulator ACM in order to supply gas or electricity to low-capacity connections (such as households and small businesses). However, article 43(2)c and article 52c of the Dutch Gas Act provide an exemption for so called multi-site supply contracts. Axpo argued that this exemption is applicable and that, therefore, the claims were unfounded.

The court sided with Axpo and the contracting authority and dismissed the losing candidate’s claims. Please click here to read the judgment (in Dutch).