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Moldova ‘determined’ to finish gas transmission unbundling and certification

Moldova is “determined” to finish the unbundling and certification of the natural gas transmission operations from Moldovagaz, an energy company co-owned by Russian state-owned Gazprom, by September, Moldovan Energy Ministry reported via social media on Thursday (20 June).

“Gas system operating decisions must be made independently. Separation means market liberalisation, non-discriminatory access to the natural gas network, and competition between suppliers, leading to more affordable prices for consumers,” the Ministry said.

If this requirement is unmet, the country’s energy regulator, ANRE will transfer the transport system to another certified operator, the Ministry added.

Moldova’s gas market is entirely monopolised, in which Moldovagaz and its subsidiaries handle the majority of operations, such as imports, supply management, cross-border and national transmission, distribution, and retail.

On 31 May, the Energy Community Secretariat sent a Reasoned Opinion addressing non-compliance with the Energy Community unbundling and certification requirements in the gas sector to Moldova.

In 2021, the Secretariat opened infringement procedures addressing the failure of Moldova to implement the requirements of unbundling and certification of Moldovatransgaz, a subsidiary of Moldovagaz. Moldovatransgaz is still not unbundled from the vertically integrated gas undertaking Moldovagaz. The Reasoned Opinion sent in May is the second step in the infringement procedure.

In its Reasoned Opinion, the Secretariat argued that more than three years after the deadline, Moldovatransgaz has not been unbundled under any of the three available unbundling models and thus cannot be certified as long as the status quo persists.

The deadline for unbundling the gas transmission system operators (TSOs) in Moldova was 1 January 2020. Moldova’s other gas TSO, Vestmoldtransgaz, was certified by ANRE on 3 September 2021, under the ownership unbundling model following a positive opinion by the Secretariat.

MoldovaGaz is owned by Gazprom (50 per cent), the Moldovan government (36.6 per cent) and the Transnistrian administration (13.4 per cent).

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