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Moldova opens the door for free gas transit to and from Ukraine

by Dominic Culverwell October 6, 2023 10:18 AM 1 min read
Natural gas pipelines operated by Moldovatransgaz Srl, a subsidiary of MoldovaGaz SA. (Valeria Mongelli/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Moldova introduced the free transport of European gas to and from Ukraine in preparation for its heating season, the Moldovan Energy Ministry announced on Oct. 5.

The Commission on Emergency Regulation pushed the decision through on Wednesday evening. It will apply to two of the four transit points of the gas transportation system (GTS) on the border with Ukraine.

The commission intends to make the route more attractive for gas transit and the decision will reduce import costs and consumer prices.

Moldova has been in a state of emergency following the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the commission’s decision must be implemented.

The country weaned itself off Russian gas last year and began storing gas supplies purchased from Europe in Ukraine’s massive underground gas storage facilities (UGS) following successful tests on Jan. 27.

The move also opened Ukraine up to the Trans-Balkan gas transport corridor, allowing it to import up to 17 million cubic meters of gas per day from the Southern route.

Energocom, the Molvodvan company sourcing EU gas, currently has 400 million cubic meters stored in Moldova and Ukraine. Moldova will transport around 500 million cubic meters of gas at a 100% discount to meet the country’s consumption rate of 800-900 million cubic meters.  

However, Chisinau has not totally ruled out buying gas from Russian giant Gazprom, according to the head of Molodovan-Russian company Moldovagaz head Vadim Ceban.

"Theoretically, we can buy Russian gas, but this is subject to two key conditions - the price of gas must be lower than that proposed by Energocom and there must be appropriate volumes as needed by Moldova," Ceban told Reuters earlier this week.

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