13 Sep 2023 17:50

Moldova completes formalities for leasing gas transmission system to Romanian operator

CHISINAU. Sept 13 (Interfax) - Moldova's National Agency for Energy Regulation (ANRE) has approved a contract to lease the country's gas transmission system to Romanian operator Vestmoldtransgaz for a period of five years, the ANRE press office said.

The lease agreement was signed with Moldovagaz subsidiary Moldovatransgaz.

All formalities are now complete and the contract has officially gone into effect.

Vestmoldtransgaz will also receive a five year lease starting on September 19. It will also take on current maintenance and servicing contracts.

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% and the Transdniestria Property Management Committee has 13.44%. The other 1.23% is owned by private individuals and legal entities.

Vestmoldtransgaz operates the gas pipeline connecting Moldova and Romania from Iasi in Romania via Ungheni to Chisinau. It was established in 2014 and sold to Eurotransgaz, a subsidiary of Romanian state company Transgaz, in 2018. The company's owners at present are Transgaz with 75% and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development with 25%.