Moldova’s Gas Transportation Network Operations Handed Over to Vestmoldtransgaz. No more monopoly for Gazprom?

The gas transportation networks in the Republic of Moldova will be operated by Vestmoldtransgaz, a company jointly owned by Transgaz Romania and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Vestmoldtransgaz has signed a lease contract for the natural gas transportation network with its holder, Moldovatransgaz, a subsidiary of Moldovagaz.

To come into effect, the contract needs to be approved by the National Agency for Energy Regulation (ANRE), as announced by the Ministry of Energy.

The signing of this agreement became possible following legislative changes last year, allowing ANRE to initiate the separation procedure of gas sector companies, along with decisions by the Exceptional Situations Commission in June and September of the current year.

This marks the final steps in the unbundling process, separating gas supply activities from gas transportation activities. The separation of gas production, transportation, distribution, and supply companies aims to prevent monopolies and ensure access to infrastructure for all interested parties, as part of Energy Package III, an obligation of the Republic of Moldova to the Energy Community.

The takeover of the national gas transportation system by Vestmoldtransgaz, controlled by Transgaz Romania, will mean the dismantling of Gazprom’s monopoly.

Vestmoldtransgaz will lease and operate the natural gas transportation network for a term of 5 years. Additionally, it will take over the current technical servicing contracts concluded by SRL “Moldovatransgaz,” ensuring the continuity of operational processes related to the natural gas transportation infrastructure.

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Minister of Energy, Victor Parlicov, welcomed the consensus on signing this contract without the need for ANRE to impose it through an administrative decision. He expressed gratitude to all parties involved, including Vestmoldtransgaz, Transgaz, Moldovatransgaz, Moldovagaz, ANRE, and the Ministry of Energy team for the successful completion of this stage.

“Just as in the case of synchronizing the electricity market with the continental one, domestic consumers will not feel any change in the gas market. However, this separation, which Moldova has postponed since 2012, represents a significant leap in implementing European legislation and liberalizing and transparentizing the gas market. It will ensure non-discriminatory access to networks for all companies, and in the long term, it will enhance the market’s credibility for European traders and suppliers. Competition, in the future, may also lead to better prices,” stated Victor Parlicov.

SRL “Vestmoldtransgaz” has been certified by ANRE as the operator of the natural gas transportation system, which includes the “Iași-Ungheni-Chișinău” gas pipeline. Shareholders of Vestmoldtransgaz are Transgaz from Romania (75%) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) with 25%.

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