East European Operators Pen Deal to Develop Gas Grid
Romanian gas grid operator Transgaz said on January 31 it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with partners from 10 other Eastern European countries on developing the region’s gas networks.
The other signatories included Albania’s Albgaz, Bosnia’s BH-Gas, Bulgaria’s Bulgartransgaz, Croatia’s Plinacro, Greece’s Desfa, Kosovo’s economic development ministry, North Macedonia’s GA-MA AD - Skopje, Montenegro’s Montenegro Bonus, Poland’s Gaz-System and Slovakia’s Eustream, as well as the United States Energy Association (Usea).
They are all members of the US-backed Partnership for Development of Natural Gas Networks in Eastern Europe (EE-NGP) initiative.
In a statement, Transgaz said it had signed the MoU with the aim of working with other Eastern European operators to plan transmission networks and diversify gas sources, as well as extend “long and productive cooperation between the Romanian and American energy industries.”
Eastern Europe currently relies heavily on Russian gas, but its supply mix is set to become more diversified thanks to a number of new infrastructure project that are underway. The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is due to be completed this year, bringing Azeri gas to the region, while Croatia and Greece are constructing new LNG import terminals. Pipelines are also being built across borders, to establish a single market for the gas in the region.
The EE-NGP project was initiated by Usea and the United States Agency for International Development (Usaid) in 2017. Its stated long-term objective is “facilitating the creation of a regional gas market with potential for US deliveries.”
The new import facilities under development in Croatia and Greece could be recipients for this US gas. Washington is also working with the Polish government on a plan to deliver more US gas arriving at Poland's Swinoujscie LNG terminal to southeast Europe.