10 Jul 2023 16:41

Vestmoldtransgaz becomes temporary operator of Moldova's entire gas transmission system

CHISINAU. July 10 (Interfax) - Moldova's National Agency for Energy Regulation has designated Vestmoldtransgaz as the temporary operator of the country's entire gas transmission system, the agency's press service said.

The gas transmission system in Moldova has so far had two operators. Vestmoldtransgaz directly manages the gas pipeline connecting Moldova and Romania from Iasi in Romania via Ungheni to Chisinau. The company's owners are the Romanian state company Transgaz with 75% and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development with 25%. The second operator, Moldovagaz subsidiary Moldovatransgaz, manages 1,560 km of trunk pipelines and branches.

"The decision paves the way for the gradual transfer of the gas transmission system, which is managed by Moldovatransgaz, to Vestmoldtransgaz," the agency said.

The networks will effectively be transferred to Vestmoldtransgaz if Moldovatransgaz does not complete certification and unbundling from Moldovagaz by September 19, 2023 in fulfillment of the EU's Third Energy Package.

Moldova's obligations under the EU's Third Energy Package involve unbundling gas supplies, transportation and distribution. Moldovagaz said in June that is would not complete certification and separation of Moldovatransgaz from the parent company on time.

The Moldovan government in July approved a bill setting down a procedure for revoking the gas transmission system operator's license and transferring its assets to another company. The parliament adopted the bill at its first reading.

Moldovagaz was founded in 1999. Russia's Gazprom owns 50% of the shares, the Moldovan government holds 35.33%, the of the shares - from the government of Moldova, the Transdniestria Property Management Committee has 13.44% and minority shareholders, individuals and legal entities 1.23%.