The first gas supplies from Romania via Iasi-Ungheni pipeline will begin soon, but the entire duct construction will take several years, Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca told RIA Novosti.
“From Iasi to Ungheni gas deliveries will start by the end of the year. Our main objective is to extend the pipeline to Chisinau. Its construction will take several years. Then, we could buy gas from where is cheaper. This project is not directed against Russia or Gazprom,” Leanca said.
Recently, Moldovan Economics Minister Adrian Candu said Chisinau will hand over its repayment schedule for the USD 400-million gas debt to Russian energy giant Gazprom in late 2014 or early 2015.
Russia’s Gazprom and Moldova’s Moldovagaz signed an agreement, supplementing to the existing gas deliveries contract for 2015. According to the deal, the gas price will be reduced to USD 332 per 1,000 cubic meters. The projected volume of gas deliveries stands at almost 3 billion cubic meters.
Moldova and Russia plan to start negotiations on a new gas contract in early 2015, according to Moldovan authorities. The previous Russian-Moldovan gas contract expired in 2011 but the sides have since extended it every year. Romania is preparing to extract gas from deposits in the Black Sea and deliver them to Moldova via the recently launched Iasi-Ungheni pipeline. However, the current amount of gas extracted in Romania is sufficient of only to covering 70-80 percent of the domestic demand, with the rest being supplied by Russia.