Moldova to Access Non-Russian Gas in August
Moldova will gain access to gas supplies from across Europe in August, the European Commission (EC) said in a statement on July 17, once the Ungheni-Chisinau pipeline connecting the country with the Romanian gas grid has started up.
Moldova gets all its gas from Russia, and is eager to diversify its supply. A pipeline between Iasi in Romania and Ungheni in Moldova was opened to great fanfare in August 2014 but had pumped barely any gas since then because of a lack of infrastructure to take the gas further into the country.
The Ungheni-Chisinau pipeline will solve this problem, pumping gas all the way to Moldova's capital Chisinau. It will enable Moldova to access gas from northwest European fields, northern Greek LNG terminals and the Caspian Sea, when the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) starts flowing Azeri gas to southern Europe later this year, the EC said.
The pipeline will carry up to 2.2bn m3 of gas to Moldova, which consumed 2.9bn m3 of Russian gas in 2018.
Gazprom's monopoly over gas supply is only one way that Russia dominates Moldova's energy sector. The bulk of gas delivered to Moldova is consumed at a 2.5-GW power plant in the breakaway region of Transnistria, owned by Russian utility Inter RAO. This station in turn supplies almost all of Moldova's power.
Gazprom also owns a majority share in Moldova's gas transmission system operator Moldovagaz.