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BUCHAREST, April 16, /ITAR-TASS/. Romania has finished the construction of its section of the long-distance Yassy-Ungeny gas pipeline that will connect its gas transportation system to Moldova, Gheorge Dutsu, president of the National Agency for Mineral Resources, told journalists on Thursday.
“The construction of the Romanian section of the Yassy-Ungeny long-distance pipeline has been completed,” Dutsu said, noting the gas pipeline can begin operation only after Moldova builds its section on its territory by June 2014.
The construction of the 42-kilometer-long gas pipeline valued at 26 million euro and funded by the European Union got under way in August 2013 with an aim to ensure Moldova’s energy security and reduce its dependence on Russia’s Gazprom, its main gas supplier. According to preliminary reports, the gas pipeline’s annual capacity is estimated at 1.5 billion cubic meters.
Moldovan experts, however, believe the pipeline is unlikely to solve the problem of Moldova’s access to alternative gas suppliers.
“It is necessary to build an additional Ungeny-Chisinau gas pipeline with compressor stations and other transportation infrastructure to make the Yassy-Ungeny gas pipeline economically efficient. That will make it possible to increase the carrying capacity of this section to 1.5 billion cubic meters a year,” Moldova’s Ministry of Economy wrote in its analytical report.
According to the government, it will take about five years to implement the projects valued at more than 50 million dollars. Chisinau does not rule out that the same Russian gas will be pumped through the Romanian gas pipeline.
Moldova’s annual needs in natural gas are estimated at 1.3 billion cubic meters which the republic imports from Russia. Romania also receives its oil shortfalls from Russia.