3 Nov 2022 15:26

Moldova to import gas from West to replenish reserves - deputy PM

CHISINAU. Nov 3 (Interfax) - Moldova has recently purchased gas to replenish reserves by reverse supplies, Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Andrei Spinu said.

"The myth that Moldova can only import gas from Russia has been destroyed. We have recently imported natural gas using a reverse system, from the West to East, for the first time. On Wednesday, the Energocom state company purchased 5.6 million cubic meters of gas, which was transferred through the interconnector point in Budnice, Slovakia, on the border with Ukraine," Spinu said on his Telegram channel on Thursday.

This gas volume will replenish the reserves that "Energocom is creating to provide Moldova with gas for this winter and will support energy independence," he said.

"The current natural gas reserves possessed by Energocom have now reached 157 million cubic meters [it is enough for approximately five weeks in the winter]," Spinu said. He said he is certain that "having solidarity and being frugal, Moldova and its citizens will well live through this winter."

The government of Moldova decided to purchase gas in the West back in October 2021 amid a dispute with Gazprom. Energocom then signed a contract with the Polish company PGNiG for a trial purchase of 1 mcm of gas.

According to Energocom, Gazprom confirmed the supply to Moldova of 171 million cubic meters of gas in November, whereas the country, including the Transdniestrian region, needs 334 million cubic meters. When a gas shortage arose in November, Energocom and the Moldovan Hydropower Plant failed to reach an agreement on the supply by the plant of electrical power to right-bank Moldova. Energocom is buying electrical power on the Romanian market at a price starting from 90 euro per one megawatt per hour. For this reason, the power tariff for consumers in Moldova has recently been increased by 50%.

Energocom buys gas to top its reserves up every day.

Spinu said earlier on Thursday that Moldova had bought another 15 mcm in total to boost its reserves to 157 mcm. He did not say who the gas had been bought from or at what price.

Moldova buys gas in case Gazprom halt supplies. Moldova has no gas storage facilities of its own, and the gas is stored in the neighboring countries, Ukraine and Romania.

Gazprom will continue to supply 5.7 mcm of gas per day to Moldova in November, as in October. This is 40% less than Moldova requested. The preliminary gas price in November is $821 per thousand cubic meters, down from $1,082 paid by Moldova for gas in October.

The daily gas supply to Moldova was cut 30% to 5.7 mcm on October 1, while the demand stood at 8.06 mcm. Gazprom put the smaller supply down to technical problems created by the restrictions on gas transit via Ukraine.