The main supplier of natural gas in the Republic of Moldova, Moldovagaz, asked its large consumers to reduce their consumption given that imports from Russia for October cover only 54 million cubic meters of natural gas, which is 67% of the 80 million cubic meters required.
Moldovagaz targets consumers who have the opportunity to switch to alternative fuels and the sugar factories, “which can store sugar beet for a certain number of days, as well as replacing the excessive volume of consumption contracted with alternative fuel (fuel oil)”. Also, the companies from the thermal energy complex were already proposed to temporarily switch to alternative fuel sources, Moldovagaz specified.
In 2020 and in the first half of 2021, the natural gas supplied on the market of the Republic of Moldova was purchased by Moldovagaz from SAP Gazprom (Russian Federation). In the first half of this year, the population of the Republic of Moldova, excluding Transnistria, covered about 39% of consumption, public institutions, about 4.5%, while the energy industry consumed about 35% of the total. The rest, about 22% of the volumes of imported natural gas went to other economic agents in industry, trade and services.
Gas imports in October 2021 as agreed with Gazprom will be at the level of consumption in September, following the extension of the framework contract for one month. The Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development, Andrei Spînu, confirmed that the import price for October is about 790 dollars per thousand cubic meters (mmc). For comparison, in August, Moldovagaz imported gas at a price of $ 440 per thousand cubic meters, and for September the price was $ 550. At the beginning of the year, it was 127 dollars”, said for the station of Radio Free Europe, Ștefan Creangă, ANRE director.
Following the negotiations at the end of September, Moldovagaz announced “the clarification of the formula for calculating the purchase price of natural gas in the second and third quarters of 2021, namely the exclusion of the double calculation of the effective calorific value of gas”. Also, the contractual volumes of natural gas supply have been adjusted until September 2021 by increasing them. This was determined by the exceeding of the contracted supply volumes in February-April of this year against the background of the cold weather, as well as the insufficiency of natural gas resources for September, Moldovagaz explained.
For October, Gazprom, a 50% shareholder in Moldovagaz, invokes the impossibility of organizing “the reservation of the necessary capacities for transporting natural gas through the transmission system in Ukraine for the consumers of the Republic of Moldova”. The lack of gas imports is covered by the stock of gas from the gas pipelines in the Republic of Moldova, which results in a decrease in pressure in the gas transmission system Moldovatransgaz.
Negotiations with Gazprom are currently focused on future imports, volumes and prices. Government sources, quoted by infotag.md, say that next week Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spînu and Moldovagaz will hold talks in St. Petersburg with Alexei Miller and other Gazprom executives. Following these, gas prices for Moldova would be agreed and a final decision would be made on the conditions for extending the contract.
At the same time, the Republic of Moldova “must diversify its gas supply sources”, said Andrei Spînu, on the occasion of the announcement on the completion of the Iași-Ungheni-Chișinău gas pipeline. “This pipeline gives us this chance. We plan the opportunity to deliver gas through this pipeline in the next period”, Spînu specified.
The new gas pipeline completed by Transgaz can transport up to 6.5 million cubic meters of gas / day, covering the needs of the Republic of Moldova, without Transnistria, said the general director of Transgaz, Ion Sterian. “The Republic of Moldova can now purchase gas from anywhere in the world,” said the head of Transgaz. “We are waiting for the suppliers to nominate the volumes of gas that we can transport to the Republic of Moldova.”
The authorities in Chișinău also invoked the possibility to store gas in Romania, provided that according to the legislation of the Republic of Moldova, the storage should be 20% of the total annual consumption, to cover the consumption peaks for the Republic of Moldova”, said Ion Sterian in this summer, quoted by profit.ro.