10 Apr 2024 17:16

Moldovagaz may resume buying gas from Gazprom in May, including for right bank of Dniester

CHISINAU. April 10 (Interfax) - Moldovagaz may start buying gas for the right bank of the Dniester from Gazprom on May 1, according to information published on the website of the Moldovan gas transport operator.

"The deadline until which Moldovagaz buys gas from the state company Energocom by a decision of the National Agency for Energy Regulation of the Republic of Moldova (ANRE) expires in April. Thus, Moldova can go back to its normal gas procurement - from Gazprom or on the spot market - from May 1," the operator said in its letter to ANRE, where it describes the possible scenarios of events on Moldova's gas market.

In particular, Moldovagaz said it can meet the gas needs from May to September by buying it from Gazprom and from other supplies on competitive conditions for the purpose of balancing the minimal cost of the purchased gas and providing it to consumers. It is impossible in the winter period as the entire volume of gas supplied by Gazprom is used on the left bank of the Dniester, Transdniestria.

Energocom Director Victor Binzari told reporters the enterprise does not have any obligations to Moldovagaz starting from May and will be trying to participate in as many tenders as possible to also sell gas to other companies, large consumers.

"That was the reason why Energocom took part in an auction declared by the Chisinau Glass Factory, despite Moldovagaz's displeasure," Binzari said.

The company will complete the supply of all earlier purchased gas volumes and will make new procurements from May 1, he said.

Alexandru Slusari, a member of the administrative board of Energocom, earlier categorically opposed gas procurements from Gazprom. He said Energocom had purchased gas on the open market at prices lower than those offered by Gazprom for April.

Moldovan Energy Minister Victor Parlicov said last week "Moldova will buy gas where it's cheaper" starting from May 1.

According to earlier reports, Moldovagaz and Gazprom signed a five-year contract for gas supply, which took effect on November 1, 2021. On October 1, 2022, Gazprom reduced daily gas supply to Moldova by 30%, to 5.7 million cubic meters of gas a day. Gazprom attributed that to technical problems associated with gas transit through Ukraine. In the coming months and since the start of 2023, Gazprom has supplied to Moldova the same gas volume, 5.7 million cubic meters a day, which is less than 40% of the volume needed for the cold season.

Moldova used fuel from Gazprom only until December 3, 2022. Since December 4, 2022, Moldova has supplied the entire volume of gas from Gazprom to Transdniestria, which in exchange meets more than 80% of Moldova's electrical power needs. The contract with the Moldavskaya GRES power station in Transdniestria was signed for the period until the end of 2024.