Bucharest, February 19 - Neftegaz.RU. According to Seenews, Romanian and Moldovan authorities on February 18 inaugurated the 2nd phase of the gas interconnection project Iasi-Ungheni-Chisinau, Romania's energy ministry said.
The project is a concrete proof of the commitment by which Romania supports Moldova in strengthening energy security and integration within the EU energy market, the economy ministry said in a press release.
«I welcome the start of the 2nd phase of Iasi-Ungheni-Chisinau interconnection project. It is concrete, palpable evidence of Romania's commitment to contribute to energetic and regional security,» Romanian economy minister, Niculae Badalau, said.
Eurotransgaz, the Moldovan subsidiary of Romanian gas pipeline operator Transgaz, received a 38 million euro loan from the European Investment Bank last month to provide financing to Moldova's Vestmoldtransgaz for the interconnection project. Transgaz took over its Moldovan peer Vestmoldtransgaz in September for 8.8 million euro through Eurotransgaz.
«The project represents a geopolitical gain, aiming to reduce the energy dependence of Moldova through the alternative route it proposes, as well as a contribution to the general strengthening of the country's pro-European path,» Transgaz Gen. manager, Ion Sterian, said.
The Ungheni - Chisinau project involves the construction of a 120 km long gas pipeline, 3 gas delivery stations as well as the procurement of equipment. The 1st section of the pipeline linking Iasi and Ungheni was put into operation in 2014 and can transport about 1.5 billion m3 of gas per year.
Moldova started importing gas from Romania in 2015 for the 1st time in its history in a move to cut its dependence on Russian gas. In January, Romanian PM Viorica Dancila said that the construction of the Ungheni-Chisinau gas transmission pipeline in Moldova remains one of the top priority projects of her government.