Romania begins natural gas exports to Moldova
Romania started exporting natural gas to the Republic of Moldova through the Iasi-Ungheni pipeline on December 3 at noon, Agerpres announced, quoting officials of the natural gas transport system operator Transgaz. No details related to the amounts envisaged to be sent were released.
However, the memorandum for the Vertical Corridor, expected to facilitate the flow of gas (including LNG) from Greece to Romania, was sealed in Athens last week. Notably, the memorandum now includes Gastrade – the owner, developer and future operator of the offshore LNG Terminal in northern Greece at Alexandroupolis.
President Klaus Iohannis touched upon the topic of gas flows from Greece to Moldova while meeting Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis last week, according to Deschide.md.
It is for the first time that the Ungheni-Chisinau pipeline, an investment of Transgaz with financial support from the European Union, is being used. The Romanian company Transgaz operates the interconnector Iasi-Ungheni and the pipeline that brings natural gas from the border with Romania (at Ungheni) to the region around Moldova’s capital city.
The first gas exports to Chisinau occur at a time when Moldova’s energy system is under extreme pressure from Russia, which has been delivering only half of the contracted amounts since the beginning of November. Supplementary, due to intense missile attacks from Russia, Ukraine is no longer in a position to deliver electricity to Moldova, which had to turn to Romania to seek suppliers.
Hidroelectrica, OMV Petrom and CE Oltenia have contributed, but Moldova needs more energy resources, and the natural gas, if supplied constantly by Romanian companies, may significantly ease the pressures and diminish the blackout risks. Such a blackout occurred last week throughout Moldova during an intense missile attack from Russia towards Ukraine.
As opposed to natural gas, the electricity route from Romania to Moldova passes through Ukraine – which makes it vulnerable to volatile functioning caused by the war.
(Photo source: Sasa Maricic/Dreamstime.com)