In accordance with the European Union Code of Natural Gas Networks, Moldova will improve the process of natural gas transportation from and to Ukraine starting January 2021, while initiating negotiations with the Customs Service with regards to virtual reverse gas flow.
Backhaul is the natural gas transaction which involves the nomination and allocation of natural gas deliveries in the opposite direction to the main physical flow of natural gas, which takes place at certain unidirectional entry/exit points. This procedure is functional in European countries at the interconnection points.
Before December 2020, Moldova could not provide virtual gas flows along the trans-Balkan pipeline because the national legislation did not encompass the procedure. According to the optimistic forecast, reverse virtual flows are expected to become functional in Moldova starting January 2021, subject to the approval of the appropriate procedures by the Customs Service.
The backhaul will cover 50 per cent of the available capacity of the main pipelines, which will be approximately 8 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year. Thus, Moldova will be able to guarantee the flow of 17 million cubic metres (mcm) per day of natural gas to and from Ukraine, being able to transit an annual capacity of over 3 bcm, along the Trans-Balkan pipeline in 2021 in the reverse direction, which constitutes an increase of four times the transit volumes in 2020.
“This means that the backhaul procedure is needed not only for the region but also for Moldova,” stated Vadim Ceban, chairman of Moldovagaz’s board of directors, to ICIS.