From gas and power to clean air credits, bandwidth and plastics,you name it, and EnronOnline now sells it, but out of the plethoraof commodities now trading on the site worldwide, North Americannatural gas still tops the list of most actively traded.
The rapidly growing e-commerce site, which Enron claims is nowthe world’s largest with more than $50 billion in transactions sofar this year, consumes much more than 50% of Enron’s wholesalecommodity transactions, including more than 10 Bcf/d of gas in thefirst quarter.
“The highest traded commodity on EnronOnline is North Americannatural gas because that’s the biggest marketplace that we have inthe first place. The second [largest] market is power, and itfollows exactly the size of each of our businesses and that isreflected in the numbers that are traded on EnronOnline,” LouiseKitchen, managing director of EnronOnline, said in an interviewwith NGI last Thursday.
“We did $2.25 billion [in total transactions online] yesterday.It’s growing all the time. I think today we’ve done the mosttransactions we’ve ever done, over 2,500. I think one of the[overseas] markets just closed, like Nordic power or something likethat.
Enron launched EnronOnline on Nov. 29, 1999, and currently morethan half of Enron’s wholesale transactions are conducted online.In its first 26 weeks, more than 130,000 transactions have beenconducted.
Kitchen said EnronOnline is seeing growth on two levels. “We’reseeing growth because we are increasing the levels of efficiency incertain markets, I believe. I think EnronOnline provides so muchprice transparency and an efficient way of transacting that it doesincrease those markets. U.S. natural gas would fall into thatcategory of increased gains and efficiencies in terms oftransactions.” In terms of some of the developing markets, such asthe Belgian gas market, Kitchen said, EnronOnline provided priceswhere there were none before. Since coming online Jan. 5, 2000, theBelgian gas portion of EnronOnline has quadrupled in volume, shesaid.
Although she provided no predictions on future growth forEnronOnline — partly because all her previous annual predictionswere reached during the first quarter — Kitchen said she doesn’texpect competition from the many other electronic energy tradingsites to detract from the volumes on EnronOnline. “We don’t reallycompete directly with those other platforms because they’re allmatching platforms.”
Kitchen said the claim about being the largest e-commerce sitein the world is based on the goods transacted through the site andthe price of those goods. “We are taking the price of alltransactions times the volumes of all transactions” and they exceedthose of Amazon.com and Dell.com.
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