Moldova receives first non-Russian gas delivery as it grapples with severe energy crisis

Moldova has received its “first” delivery of non-Russian gas as the country grapples with a severe energy crisis.

Oct 13, 2021: Russia has denied using energy as a political weapon, amid surging prices across Europe that have sent gas bills in many households skyrocketing.

The delivery of one million cubic metres of natural gas was supplied by Poland’s PGNiG.

Chisinau said the “sample purchase” from Poland is meant “to test the ability to import gas from alternative sources and balance the low pressure in the natural gas supply system”.

It added that the offer from PGNiG was one of seven the state company Energocom received after issuing a tender.

The delivery came four days after Moldova declared a one-month state of emergency to secure gas supplies amid a crisis over rising prices.

Moldova has received its “first” delivery of non-Russian gas as the country grapples with a severe energy crisis.

The delivery of one million cubic metres of natural gas was supplied by Poland’s PGNiG.

Chisinau said the “sample purchase” from Poland is meant “to test the ability to import gas from alternative sources and balance the low pressure in the natural gas supply system”.

It added that the offer from PGNiG was one of seven the state company Energocom received after issuing a tender.

The delivery came four days after Moldova declared a one-month state of emergency to secure gas supplies amid a crisis over rising prices.

It comes as the cost of gas soars elsewhere in Europe, amid a perfect storm of factors including increased demand after COVID lockdowns, existing stocks being reduced by longer winters and weather conditions meaning renewables are not able to fill the shortfall.

Oct 6, 2021: Why natural gas prices are breaking records in Europe?

Almost all of Moldova’s gas imports come from Russia via Moldovagaz, a company formed with the Russian giant Gazprom.

A gas interconnector between Moldova and neighbouring Romania became operational in 2015 but currently only supplies the 35,000 inhabitants of Ungheni, a border town.

Only 67% of Moldova’s gas needs are currently covered and negotiations with Gazprom are ongoing for deliveries beyond October 31.

But the government has warned it has “no confidence” in getting a positive outcome from the talks.

Critics have accused Gazprom and the Kremlin of hiking gas prices to punish Moldova after the 2020 election of pro-European President Maia Sandu.

Negotiations are also complicated as Moldovan gas must pass through the pro-Russian territory of Transdniestria.

The Financial Times newspaper also reported late on Wednesday that Gazprom is pressuring Moldova to delay energy sector reforms and a free trade deal with the European Union in exchange for cheaper gas prices.

Gazprom, meanwhile, accuses Chisinau of late payments and threatens to cut supply if a new contract is not signed.

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for Gazprom said it “is negotiating with a counterparty to extend the contract to supply gas to Moldova exclusively on commercial terms.”

“We do not consider it correct to comment on Moldova’s agreements with other suppliers,” they added.

Euronews has also contacted the Moldovan government for comment.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the country of 2.6 million inhabitants is almost wholly dependent on fossil fuel and electricity imports with only 20% of its energy demand met domestically in 2018.

It also has no gas storage facilities, which leaves it particularly vulnerable to geopolitical and pricing shocks. Disputes between Moscow and Chisinau in 2006 and 2009 left tens of thousands of Moldovan citizens without gas for days in winter. The second instance, which lasted weeks, saw Moldova activate the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism, which provided capacity heaters and electrical generators.

Sandu discussed the country’s gas supply issues with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen over the phone on Wednesday, her office said.

“The European Union has always been with the citizens of the Republic of Moldova — both in good times and in difficult times. We are grateful for the support provided by the European Union in managing the gas supply crisis,” Sandu said in a statement.

https://www.euronews.com/2021/10/27/moldova-receives-first-non-russian-gas-delivery-as-it-grapples-with-severe-energy-crisis

Published by amongthefray

News with a historical perspective. Fighting against misinformation, hate, and revisionist history.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: