Moldova eyes Romanian gas as alternative to dependence on Russia

Sursa: INQUAMGeorge Călin

Moldova is trying to secure the best deal for gas imports ahead of the winter and the launch of a new gas pipeline from Romania has provided an alternative energy supply.

The head of Moldova’s main gas distribution company Vadim Ceban said it was currently cheaper for the poor East European country to buy gas from Russia, but authorities were open to offers from Romania.

Last month, a new pipeline from Romania to Moldova was completed. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund, it can supply Moldova with gas from the Caspian Sea, the North Sea, Northern Greece, and Norway.

Still, Mr. Ceban said Moldovagaz wanted to renegotiate a new three-year contract with Russian gas giant Gazprom but was looking for a better deal, “so we don’t just depend on the east,” he said, referring to Russia, Ziua de Garda reported.

“If the supplier brings gas to the border, then we will make a calculation,” he said of the  Romanian pipeline. “Which route is better and which price is affordable,” he said. He is the chairman of the Administration Board of SA Moldovagaz.

Moldova, a former Soviet republic, shares a border with Romania, but not with Russia.

Gazprom owns 51 per cent of Moldovagaz, and Moldova is currently dependent on Russian gas for almost all of its needs.

Moldovan Prime Minister Ion Chicu called the new pipeline  „one of the most important goals of the national energy infrastructure, which will further strengthen our country’s independence.”

Analysts say the pipeline gives Moldova an alternative to Russian gas, which in turn will give Chisinau leverage in its future price discussions with Gazprom.

The 120-km pipeline from the Ungheni entry point on the border with Romania to the Moldovan capital Chisinau will enable up to 1.5  billion cubic meters of gas to flow from Romania into Moldova.

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