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The role of Moldovatransgaz between security of supply and interregional cooperation

Moldovatransgaz is one of three gas TSOs operating in the Republic of Moldova. The geographical location of the country, between Ukraine and Romania, opens opportunities for wider interconnection with other regions as well as the Trans-Balkan gas pipeline, which connects Moldovan gas infrastructure to Ukraine to the North-East and Romania and Western Balkans to the South. Thus, Moldovatransgaz, by managing the main pipelines of the Trans-Balkan Corridor on the Moldovan territory, is one of the key TSO providing transmission of natural gas to the countries of the Balkan region (Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey), to border consumers in Ukraine and to consumers of the Republic of Moldova.

As the Republic of Moldova has no gas production, storage facilities or direct LNG access, the main challenge of the country is to ensure the energy security of the country by diversifying the sources for gas supply. Also, considering the fact that the natural gas transit transportation through its territory has decreased dramatically, the next challenge is to attract more traders to use the Trans-Balkan pipeline available capacity for natural gas transmission in the region.

Therefore, the actual priority objectives for the company are: alignment with the provisions of the Third Energy Package, including unbundling (from Moldovagaz); full implementation of the third-party access and gas network codes; diversification of the spectrum of services provided by the company. Other goals include: providing non-discriminatory access to its gas transmission system to all willing network users and securing the natural gas transmission for domestic consumers as well as for transit.

Indeed, Moldovatransgaz is currently undergoing the unbundling procedure from its mother company Moldovagaz. The new visual identity reflects the company’s tendency to align with European standards, emphasising the principles of environmental protection and clean energy highly promoted by the company. The natural gas networks managed by Moldovatransgaz are branched over the entire territory of the Republic of Moldova, both from East to West and from West to East, ensuring the continuous transportation of gas to consumers in the country. The Trans-Balkan pipeline technically ensures the transportation of natural gas in the traditional flow and in reverse flow.

Besides the gas transmission activity, Moldovatransgaz performs also construction, installation, operation on main gas pipelines and their facilities, as well as technical supervision for all infrastructure projects of the company.

At the moment, the Republic of Moldova’s natural gas market is liberalised. Each trader, Network User has free, transparent, non-discriminatory access to Moldovatransgaz’s transport system. By the end of 2021 new entry/exit tariffs will be approved for the gas transmission services of Moldovatransgaz, which will be competitive with the regional ones. Although the main gas supplier for the country, Moldovagaz has recently signed a 5-year contract with Gazprom. Thus, Moldovatransgaz has contracts for natural gas transmission services signed with international traders, including from Ukraine, Switzerland, Austria and Great Britain.

The gas supply crisis of October 2021 from the Republic of Moldova’s energy sector, has proved once again that the natural gas market in the country is liberalised and any international or national network user can supply our country and has transparent and free access to Moldovatransgaz’s network system. Thus, in this difficult situation when the main gas supplier in Moldova was not able to provide necessary natural gas volumes to the country, our company signed a contract with other traders who for the first time brought gas from the west.

Also, Moldovatransgaz made its best to ensure a secure operational functioning of the system during the difficult period we have been passing. Our professional team faced the situation and did everything technically possible to maintain the gas pressure in the network system. Moreover, during the difficult period, we greatly appreciate the support provided by the neighbouring TSO’s – Romanian Transgaz and the Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine.

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