Ukrtransgaz and Moldovagaz have agreed to modernise the border gas metering stations of Grebeniki (Ukraine) and Căușeni (Moldova) to operate in reverse mode and provide a nonstop gas supply to their customers. Since 2010, Moldova has been seeking to diversify its energy resources; a key priority for improving national energy security and integrating into the E.U. energy system.
Now, the Ukrainian state gas company Ukrtransgaz is partnering with Moldovagaz to transport an additional 1.5 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year from Romania, Emerging Europe reported. This will serve to replace gas from Russia after Ukraine’s current supply contract with Russia expires at the end of 2019.
“The main purpose of the cooperation is to diversify gas supply routes to Ukraine in preparation for [the] autumn-winter period [of] 2019/2020. The project is of strategic importance for both Ukraine and Moldova, because by diversifying gas supply routes the states will ensure an uninterrupted supply of gas to customers,” said Ukrtransgaz in an August 19 press release.
In June 2019, Ukrtransgaz made an offer to the Moldovan Government to import gas directly from the E.U. without Gazprom’s involvement. Ukraine proposed that Moldova create its own gas reserves in Ukrainian underground gas storage units. The offer was related to the delay in finishing the construction of Moldova’s Ungheni-Chișinău gas pipeline, built by Romanian state gas company Transgaz.
A new contract between Moldovagaz and Russia’s Gazprom is also set to begin in 2020, but negotiations between the two states are ongoing. During his July 17, 2019 trip to Moscow, Moldovan President Igor Dodon discussed gas deliveries and tariffs with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Kozak. He reportedly asked that the Russian government cut gas tariffs for Moldova as of September 1, 2019.
According to the Russian News Agency TASS, President Igor Dodon will be returning to Russia at the end of August to discuss the final decision on gas deliveries. Prime Minister Maia Sandu also plans to discuss the issue of the supply of natural gas from Russia, as well as the pricing policy, when she meets with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev during her upcoming visit to Moscow in September.