Iasi-Ungheni gas pipeline, operational by end-August


The Iasi-Ungheni gas pipeline will become operational at the end of August, on time and with a budget 10 pc smaller than planned, the delegate minister for Energy, Razvan Nicolescu announced PM Ponta, adding that Transgaz completed the talks on the operation agreement, Mediafax reports. The data were unveiled by the minister during Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, when Premier Victor Ponta asked if the energy support provided by Romania to R. Moldova will begin in August and if “the first molecule of gas” will cross the Iasi-Ungheni pipeline. “Watch out, don’t give ideas, or someone will go on inspection there to prove that there is no pipeline, so be careful. What matters is that this message, the support for Moldova, is more evident than any big words,” Ponta added. Romania and Moldova cooperate to construct a pipeline between the two countries, on the route Iasi – Ungheni, with the target being to interconnect the natural gas transport systems.
Gas that will remain unused by Niculae’s plants, to the country reserve
Meanwhile, the 2.5 bln cubic meters of gas that was to be used by the plants operated by InterAgro will be either put in store, or sold on the exchange, economica.net informs. “What remained available from InterAgro will be directed with priority to the storage program. There are 2.5 bln cu.m. of gas. We are slightly behind last year, we only have in store 1.7 bln cu.m., while last year we had 1.9 bln cu.m. in the same interval. Other quantities that will become available will be sold on the exchange by producers. There are enough amounts of gas for traders to put on sale at least 15 pc of their output,” said Nicolae Havrilet, the president of the National Energy Regulation Authority (ANRE). The gas storage facilities are operated by Romgaz, GDF Suez and Azomures. For winter, Romania last year had available stored reserves of 3 bln cu.m. of gas, of which it consumed 2.4 bln cu.m. The remaining amount was removed from storage gradually until May, which allowed the population to have gas at lower price only from local production. Starting 11 July, all the chemical plants of the InterAgro empire, controlled by the richest Romanian, Ioan Niculae, stopped operating because of the gas market liberalization process. The market of gas for industrial consumers was liberalized by gradually equalizing the price of local and imported gas, in line with the commitments to the IMF and EU. Imports are made at a price of about USD 360, while Romanian gas costs USD 290-320, without transport and distribution. The convergence of the price of local gas with that of western markets has been already reached.

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