Once the Yassy-Ungeny gas pipeline, being built jointly with Romania, is commissioned, Moscow and Bucharest can make arrangements for the delivery of Russian gas from Romania, he said.
“This will increase our energy security if gas transit through Ukraine stops,” Candu said. He did not provide further details but said this issue had been discussed last week during Russian Gazprom Board Deputy Chairman Valery Golubev’s visit to Chisinau.
Candu said the project to connect the Moldovan gas transportation system to the European network via Romania was not directed against Gazprom but was designed to diversify energy supplies to Moldova.
The construction of the 43 km Yassy-Ungeny pipeline began in August of last year with the financial support of the European Union. It was commissioned two weeks ago. However, for it to supply gas to Moldova via Romania, another pipeline will need to be built from Ungeny to Chisinau. This will take up to two years and about 70 million euros, the official said.
Romania, where gas production meets 80% of its needs, buys the rest from Gazprom and stores the gas in underground storage facilities.
By 2020, the country is hoping to start producing gas off the Zmeiny Island in the Black Sea, which Bucharest took over from Ukraine after winning a case in international court.
This will also allow Moldova to use cheaper Romanian gas.