Energy regulatory authority is making haste: We want early natural gas market liberalisation

+ The regulated price paid by household consumers will drop by 1,5 pc starting on May 1


Despite the warnings coming from Romgaz, Romania’s main natural gas producer, warnings according to which the immediate liberalisation of the market is risky because of existing turmoil at global level, the Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) states that it is preparing a package of draft laws that would allow the market to be liberalised earlier than entailed by the existing timetable.

“At this moment we are preparing a series of modifications to the legislation currently in force. There is the need to cancel the Government Decision introduces the liberalisation timetable, and for a government emergency ordinance to modify the framework law, where there are aspects concerning liberalisation. Likewise, there is the need to approve the Transmission Grid Code that would institute certain mechanism in order for the market to function optimally,” ANRE President Niculae Havrilet (photo) stated at a special conference.

ANRE will propose these modifications to the Government through the Energy Ministry, which has the right to initiate legislation.

Havrilet added that Transgaz, the operator of the natural gas market, has to take on the role of balancing the market when needed. At the same time, there is the need to introduce the concept of interruptible consumer that can be disconnected from the natural gas grid in case of heavy winter, the latter being a period in which the supplying of natural gas to household consumers takes precedence.

“At ANRE, the topic of the day is the process of liberalising the natural gas market. By law, it was established that the moment of liberalisation is to be the one when domestic prices converge with international prices, and international prices are now lower,” Havrilet stated at a previous conference on the topic of oil sector development.

The current liberalisation timetable stipulates a 10 percent price hike, from RON 60 to RON 66 per MWh, starting on July 1, a price hike that would not make sense at this point considering that the prices are in freefall, Havrilet claimed.

The regulated natural gas price paid by household consumers will drop by 2-3 percent starting on May 1, bearing in mind the 6 percent drop in natural gas distribution tariffs, Havrilet added at the same conference.

“Just today (Wednesday – editor’s note) we are having a very important Regulatory Committee [meeting]. Distribution tariffs are dropping by 6 percent, which will lead to a price drop of 1,5 percent for the consumer,” Havrilet claimed.

He added that the market is in the situation in which the price of imported natural gas has become lower than the price of domestically produced natural gas, a situation that should lead to full liberalisation. According to the aforementioned source, in this situation imports have risen again, reaching 10 percent.



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