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Minister: Moldova turns to Azerbaijan as alternative gas supplier

23 September 2022 10:49 (UTC+04:00)
Minister: Moldova turns to Azerbaijan as alternative gas supplier

By Sabina Mammadli

Moldova turns to Azerbaijan as an alternative supplier of gas, Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu said.

The remarks were made at the Romanian International Gas Conference, organized by the Romanian Oil and Gas Employers' Federation (FPPG).

“In the long term, we are trying to find alternative supplies with our partners, such as Azerbaijan, and Romania. However, we need to overcome this winter first. Moldova is quite small, thus our demand is small as well. For us, this is more about affordability, than security,” he said.

The minister pointed out that what Moldova needs right now is solidarity. He mentioned that new mechanisms have to be developed to help such countries as Moldova, or Ukraine, to overcome the immediate crisis.

“Let me be very clear, Moldova is the first country to be hit by Gazprom’s supply cuts. In the case of Moldova, we do not have any resources. And when we are put under these circumstances, this hits the direct consumers, which are households and industries,” he said.

Further, Spinu noted that the country has already been decreasing its gas consumption by almost 20 percent since the beginning of September.

Speaking with a similar notion, Bulgarian Energy Minister Rossen Hristov said that getting gas from such partners as Azerbaijan is a priority for Bulgaria.

“We have been working heavily on reducing the gas supplies from Russia. Our priority is diversification, which is getting gas from such partners as Azerbaijan, or Turkiye. October 1 is the day when the IGB (Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria) will start working. The initial capacity of it is 3 billion cubic meters with a potential increase to 5 billion cubic meters of gas,” the minister noted.

He added that investing in infrastructure is a key priority for the country and there is no single country that can deal with these challenges alone.

Moreover, Hungarian State Secretary of the Foreign Ministry Péter Sztáray noted that the increase in gas supplies from Azerbaijan is extremely important for Europe.

The minister stressed that Hungary is in close cooperation with its immediate partners such as Azerbaijan, Turkiye, and Georgia in finding ways to diversify its energy imports.

“Hungary is in a very special position. We have already built gas interconnectors for six or seven of our neighbors. But there are still missing decisions and a lack of infrastructure. Until we can fully diversify our supplies, we cannot fully destroy our economies just for the sake of sanctioning Russia,” he noted.

Additionally, Greek Environment and Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas said that so far the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) covers almost 20 percent of the country's domestic consumption.

"Greece has always been a pillar of stability, energy security and diversification in the wider region. We have completed important energy infrastructure projects while at the same time, we are proceeding with the implementation of critical infrastructures that will further strengthen the energy competitiveness of our country. The IGB pipeline is ready to operate while the FSRU at Alexandroupolis will be completed by the end of 2023. Combined with the new stations at Corinth and Alexandroupolis, which is already under construction, LNG capacity in Greece can exceed 20 bcm in the next 3 years,” he added.

The IGB gas pipeline is designed to connect the Greek national gas transmission system (DESFA S.A.) and the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline (TAP AG) in the area of Komotini (Greece), and with the Bulgarian gas transmission system (Bulgartransgaz EAD) in the area of Stara Zagora. The total length of the gas pipeline is 182 km, the diameter of the pipe is 32'', and a design capacity of up to 3 billion m3/year in the direction of Greece-Bulgaria.

The pipeline is designed to increase its capacity up to 5 bcm/y depending on market interest and the capacities of neighboring gas transmission systems.

The opening ceremony of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria was held in Komotini on July 8.

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Sabina Mammadli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @SabinaMmdl

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