ERU, one of Ukraine’s top natural gas traders has started its first exports to Romania from 1 July, the company said in a statement on Wednesday, 1 July. Some 2,000 cubic metres of gas were exported in test mode from Ukraine to Romania transiting Moldova via the Trans-Balkan pipeline. Another ten Ukrainian companies are expected to follow suit later this month.
“ERU has become the first company to start operating on the gas transit route to Romania through Moldova, which is an alternate and attractive way to reach European consumers. We can see its significant potential as the volume of supplies through the territory of Moldova can amount to 3 billion cubic meters of gas annually”, noted Yaroslav Mudryy, managing partner with the ERU Group.
The route has been historically controlled by Russia’s Gazprom and used for the transport of Russian gas to Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece and North Macedonia.
However, since Ukraine’s long-term transit contract with Gazprom ended last year, the Trans-Balkan line has become idle.
Ukraine and Moldova have fought hard to re-establish a new transit route.
Last month, the Moldovan incumbent Moldovagaz approved the required standard transportation contracts, effectively allowing the transit of gas via its territory.
In a statement to ICIS, Sergiy Makogon, CEO of the Ukrainian gas transmission system operator, GTSO said: “After Moldovagaz allowed transit via Moldova it became possible to start deliveries to Romania not just for Gazprom and first deliveries happened.
Makogon said Romanian and Ukrainian consumers could benefit from cheap gas if Romania were to sign further agreements with Ukraine for more interconnection points, including the Tekovo-Mediesu Aurit linking southern Ukraine to northern Romania.
“The gas could be even cheaper for Romanian consumers if Transgaz signs the interconnection agreement with GTSO at Tekovo, since no transit via Moldova would be needed.” Makogon said.
Vadim Ceban, president of the board of directors at Moldovagaz said “For us it is a good opportunity to take advantage of our transit route and to compensate for transit losses at the beginning of the year.”