The Prime Minister of Romania Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă reflected on the seven months of his mandate, defining this period as a success, especially when it comes to the stabilisation of the energy crisis.
“At present, Romania is a safe and socially, economically and politically stable country, ready to overcome the effects of the crises we are facing and to embark on the path of reform, modernisation and development,” he said.
Targeted measures to counteract high energy prices
In particular, he mentioned several targeted measures adopted to protect citizens.
“The increase in commodity, fuel and energy prices would have been felt even more acutely in the absence of the government’s intervention,” he pointed out. “We have introduced measures to offset and stabilise the price of electricity and natural gas. Together with the private sector, we have undertaken to reduce the price of petrol and diesel and eliminate speculation in the fuel market.”
At the end of February, the government established the introduction of a social tariff of 0.68 leu/kilowatt-hour (kWh) [approximately 0.14 euros/kWh] with VAT included for households with monthly consumption of up to 100 kWh. Over 4 million households fell into this type of consumption. Then, the other 4 million households that have a monthly consumption of electricity between 100 and 300 kWh benefit from a tariff of 0.80 leu/kWh (0.16 euros/kWh) including VAT. For non-household clients – SMEs, public institutions, hospitals, schools, kindergartens, places of worship, town halls, universities, NGOs, as well as other such institutions – the government introduced a single fee of one leu/kWh (0.20 euros/kWh) with VAT included.
For natural gas, household customers with an annual consumption of up to 1,200 cubic metres benefit from a tariff of 0.31 leu/kWh (0.06 euros/kWh), while for non-household consumers, the cost of natural gas is 0.37 leu/kWh (0.07 euros/kWh).
Overall, the measures for electricity and natural gas have an estimated total impact of almost 14.5 billion lei (2.9 billion euros) by the end of this year.
Romania must exploit the natural gas resources in the Black Sea
An important objective assumed by the Government is to obtain Romania’s energy independence and to transform the country into an energy security factor in the region.
“The new offshore law and energy investments make it possible to exploit the natural gas resources in the Black Sea and the deep ones in Buzau County,” he mentioned. “By exploiting the resources of the continental shelf of the Black Sea belonging to Romania, we will ensure 90 per cent of the necessary consumption. It represents a remarkable leap and proves Romania’s ability to find new resources and solutions at a time when the supply of natural gas worldwide is threatened by the war in Ukraine.”
Indeed, earlier in June, the Prime Minister welcomed the start of gas exploitation from the Midia Natural Gas Development Project, operationalised by the Black Sea Oil & Gas company.
The annual natural gas output from the XV Midia perimeter will ensure 10 per cent of the national consumption needs and brings Romania closer to the biggest desideratum regarding energy security, namely, energy independence.
According to Mr Ciucă, the current crises showed that Romania should produce more, reintegrate industries, be future-oriented, accelerate digitalisation “and the approval of the government cloud is a decisive step in this direction, develop infrastructure, and make a smart energy transition that should protect consumers.”