Romania to supply natural gas to Moldova at 17% below price of Russian gas

By bne IntelliNews January 6, 2015

Romania’s OMV Petrom will deliver natural gas to Moldova at a price of RON 1,010 ($277) per 1,000m3, under a contract signed with Moldova’s state company Energocom on December 22, InfoMarket online portal announced. The price is nearly 17% below that charged by Gazprom for its exports to Moldova.

The contract is effective from January 1, 2015. However, the deliveries will be rather symbolic – some 50mn m3 per year in the first stage, until Moldova builds the Ungheni-Chisinau pipeline to transport the gas from its border with Romania to the main consumers located around the capital city.

The market regulator ANRE was expected to endorse the transport license for Vestmoldtransgaz, the newly formed company that will transport the Romanian gas, on January 5, according to NewsMoldova. Former ANRE head Victor Parlicov told the news agency that the tariff for gas transportation through the 43-km Iasi-Ungheni connector remains unclear, at least until the supplies reach a volume of above 1bn m3 per year.

To fully capitalise on the 1.5-2bn cubic metre capacity of the gas connector with Romania, Vestmoldtransgaz will have to invest some €70mn in a pipeline from the Romanian border to Chisinau. Vestmoldtransgaz is a newly formed entity, separate from the main Moldovan pipeline operator Moldovagaz that is controlled by Gazprom. The EU has promised a €10mn grant for the project.

Moldova consumes some 1.2bn m3 of gas per year, while the pro-Russian separatist republic of Transnistria, where much of Moldova’s industry is concentrated, needs another 1bn m3 of gas per year. Currently, all Moldova's natural gas is imported from Russia.

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