The price however will increase by 30 pc for the industry, in stages, starting with 10 pc within less than a month.
The price of the natural gas delivered to households and some public institutions like schools and hospitals will remain unchanged until the end of March 2012, but industrial consumers such as electricity producers, and chemical and steel plants will face a 30 pc price hike, government sources announced yesterday, quoted by Mediafax. According to the sources, the first stage of the operation might be enforced in less than a month and implies a price increase of 10 pc.
“The Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) will issue a special regulation for industrial consumers,” said the sources. After the end of the nine-month period, ANRE will decide a new gas basket for household consumers and thermal energy producers.
The decision to set up two consumption baskets has been made yesterday by the government, which passed an emergency ordinance that modifies the Law of Gas. Under the ordinance, which comes into force on July 1st, two gas consumption baskets will be set up: one for household consumers and thermal energy producers, and the other for industrial consumers. The ordinance also provides an exemption from the ban instated by the Law of Gas on “all practices that use systems of prices or tariffs as social protection instruments and/or as direct or indirect subsidies to consumers.”
The emergency ordinance received green light from the Competition Council, according to the justificatory note of the document, which also makes clear that the ordinance will allow household consumers to pay the gas and will avoid “mass layoffs” by thermal energy producers. Romania imports natural gas at about USD 400 for 1,000 cubic meters – almost twice the price of locally produced gas.
The liberalisation of gas prices is a condition set by the new accord with the International Monetary Fund.