Gas pipeline linking Moldova to Romania nears completion

An important new gas pipeline from Iasi in Romania to Chisinau in Moldova, which will link Moldova to the European energy system via Romania and reduce its energy dependence on Russia, is now 90 per cent finished, the Moldovan Economy and Infrastructure Minister, Serghei Raileanu, said on Tuesday.  

“It is in our best interest to ensure our energy security, but also that of the region, by diversifying natural gas supply routes. By interconnecting with the transport networks in Romania and by integrating Moldova into the European energy system, we will be able to do this,” Raileanu said.

“We are closely monitoring the progress of this strategic project in order to ensure its construction in the established terms and to benefit from the pipeline by the end of the current year,” Raileanu added.

The pipeline is being built by Vestmoldtransgaz, which is owned by the Romanian energy company Transgaz, and 106 of the 120 km have now been completed. Since early 2019, construction is being carried out on all seven sectors of the pipeline on Moldovan territory. 

The deadline announced by the investor to finish the pipeline is the second half of 2020. The estimated cost of the project is 76 million euros, according to draft estimates done within the project documentation developed by Transgaz.

The pipeline is designed to be a major alternative to Russian gas delivered by Russian energy giant Gazprom, which is currently responsible for 99 per cent of gas used by the country. As a result, Russian gas deliveries play a very important role in political decisions in Chisinau. Gazprom owns also 51 per cent of Moldovagaz, the main gas company in the country. 

The administrator of Vestmoldtransgaz, Iulian Butnaru, stated on Tuesday that the work is being carried out within the planned deadlines.

Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban on Tuesday said that Romania would continue its investments in the energy sector as planned. “Transgaz must be fully involved in the [energy] network expansion process, in the completion of the BRUA gas pipeline [running from Bulgaria to Romania, Hungary and Austria], and in the completion of the Iasi-Chisinau gas pipeline and other investment projects,” Orban said. 

Source: balkan insight

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