Since Russia’s announcement on 1 October to reduce the transit quantities to Moldova, policy-makers in Chișinău – alongside business leaders – have stepped up efforts to find urgent solutions to the exacerbated energy situation in the country.
Putting the scale of the crisis into perspective, further disruptions in Russia’s natural gas supplies have meant that Moldova’s power production capacity is at a mere 30 per cent of its needs.
Ukraine has been the country’s second biggest energy partner – however, due to an escalated security situation in recent weeks, Ukraine reduced its electricity supplies to Moldova by 30 per cent.
Moldovatransgaz launches tenders on RBP
Aiding efforts in tackling the crisis, Moldova’s operator of the gas transmission system, Moldovatransgaz launched capacity bidding on the Regional Booking Platform (RBP) on 1 November – with the first capacity sale on the platform auctioned on 2 November.
The company “hopes” this step will facilitate the transmission of natural gas in the region – including the company’s current partners and future clients – will use these facilities to ensure gas import, export and transit activities at the highest standards of quality.
As a result of the launch, Moldovatransgaz now offers:
- common European mechanisms for capacity reservation and gas transmission;
- competitive and attractive entry-exit tariffs.
- ensuring gas transmission through the Transnistrian region;
- free, transparent and fair network access conditions, and care for the company’s customers and partners.
Earlier this month, the Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine stated that there are no “technical barriers” to increasing the volume of gas transportation to Moldova. The capacity of the Ukrainian gas transportation system allows for an increase in the current volumes of transit by at least ten times.
European Commission announces energy support to its aspiring member, following US aid
Following a visit to Moldova by the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen has announced the bloc’s support of 200 million euros for the country’s energy security, alongside 50 million euros in budgetary support.
In a tweet announcing the support package, the Commission President underlined: “Moldova’s future is in the EU”.
“First, we are pledging 200 million euros to help Moldova meet its gas supply needs. This will consist of 100 million euros in grants and 100 million euros in loans. The money should be available from January 2023. Secondly, we will provide an additional 50 million euros for budgetary support to Moldova. This will help provide support to those most vulnerable so that this is a targeted budgetary support”, explained the Commission President, speaking in Moldova’s capital, Chișinău.
“Finally, we will of course work closely with donors to provide additional support to Moldova through the Moldova Support Platform,” she added. “The Support Platform will meet on 21 November in Paris. In this context, the Commission is working with the Energy Community Secretariat to put in place an energy rescue scheme for Moldova to allow donors to support energy purchases. I hope that these measures combined will give Moldova much-needed support as it goes through the winter.”
Last week, the Moldovan government announced a separate energy aid package from the United States, worth 19.5 million US dollars (19.6 million euros). According to the press release, the package aims to strengthen the country’s energy security and reduce dependence on a single source of supply. In particular, it is expected to assist in connecting the key elements of Moldova’s energy sector to the European systems, attracting investments into the local production of energy, diversifying supplies with natural gas and enhancing energy efficiency.