2 May 2023 15:56

Moldova reduces gas consumption 28% in 2022, while spending on it doubles

CHISINAU. May 2 (Interfax) - Moldova purchased 869.2 mcm of natural gas in 2022, which is 27.9%, or 336.5 mcm, less than in 2021, according to a report by the National Agency for Energy Regulation.

Meanwhile, in monetary terms, the cost of purchases more than doubled - from 6.594 billion to 13.232 billion lei, about $737 million at the current exchange rate, due to an increase in the purchase price from 5,469 to 15,223 lei per 1,000 cubic meters, a 280% increase.

Moldovagaz released 847.3 mcm of gas to consumers, a decrease of 27.5%, for a cost of over 15.31 billion lei, which is an increase of 230%. This is explained by the fact that the tariff increased 3.3 times - from 5,531 to 18,069 lei. The difference in the volumes of purchases and deliveries to consumers is explained by losses in the network, which causes a difference between the purchase price and the tariff.

The bulk of the gas, 334 mcm, or 39%, was consumed by the population, while 252.8 mcm, 29.8%, was used by the energy sector.

Consumer settlements totaled 93.8%, -2.1 % from last year, while Moldovagaz paid for 109.5% of the purchased gas against 89.8% in 2021.

On Tuesday, the chairman of the board of Moldovagaz, Vadim Ceban, said that the purchase price of natural gas supplied by Gazprom to the country will be $660.76 per 1,000 cubic meters in May. In April, the price was $673 per 1,000 cubic meters.

In October 2021, the national gas operator signed a five-year contract for the supply of 3.3 bcm of gas per year, of which 1.1 bcm would go to the right-bank of Moldova and 2.2 billion to the Transdniestrian region. From October 1, 2022, gas supplies to Moldova have been reduced 30% to 5.7 mcm per day, with a demand of 8.06 mcm. Gazprom explained this difference as being caused by technical problems related to the restriction of transit through Ukraine.

Moldova used gas delivered from Gazprom until December 3, 2022. Since December 4, it has been supplying the entire volume of that Russian gas to Transdniestria, which in return covers more than 80% of Moldova's electricity needs with it. The contract with Moldavskaya GRES in Pridnestrovie was signed starting April 1 for six months. The right bank of the Dniester uses gas from previously created reserves.

The official exchange rate as of May 2 is 17.9612 lei/$1.