ENERGY

Gas price for population not to increase in 2017; imports have same prices as domestic gas

The price of natural gas from domestic production and the price of imported gas will converge on 1 April 2017, therefore the rates payed by the population won’t increase, Vice President of the National Regulatory Authority for Energy (ANRE) Emil Calota (photo) said on Tuesday.

“From our calculation we estimate that on 1 April 2017 we will have the price convergence of natural gas (domestic and imported production – e.n.). This means that there will no longer be different prices and the price for the population won’t increase,” Calota stated.

He brought to mind that currently the gas price for the population was frozen at 60 lei per MWh.

“The convergence of the two prices will determine policy modifications for the Romanian energy producers based on gas,” Calota added.

The Government approved in June an Emergency Ordinance through which the price paid by the population was frozen at the level of 60 lei per MWh in the period 1 July 2016 – 31 March 2017 and the liberalization calendar was suspended throughout this period.

The liberalization calendar of gas markets stipulated a growth of 6 lei per MWh on 1 July 2016 and 1 July 2017, following that the calendar be re-discussed in 2018.

In mid-May, Niculae Havrilet, the ANRE President, stated that he asked the Government to abrogate the calendar, because a 10 percent price increase from 1 July would mean that the regulated price become higher than the one on the free market, which is approximately 63 lei per MWh.

Also, in the middle of June, Havrilet revealed that the import gas during winter will have a price by 20 percent lower than the ones from the domestic stored production, therefore it could get to the situation in which it would be preferable to import over 30 percent of the consumption and not utilize the gas in storage.

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