Ponta: By 2019, we should have enough gas for Romania and the Republic of Moldova

Prime Minister Victor Ponta in Medias on Thursday, after having paid a visit to Transgaz and Romgaz, said that if the gas exploitation began in the Black Sea, by 2019, there should be enough gas for Romania and the Republic of Moldova.

‘Normally, if all the existing prospects referring to the gas in the Black Sea confirm and the exploitation begins, by 2019, we should have enough gas both for Romania and for the Republic of Moldova. We already have enough electricity, we have export capacity, but that concerns the transport infrastructure works of Transelectrica. Therefore, enough electricity and gas for Romania and the Republic of Moldova,’ Ponta said when asked by a journalist about the moment when the energy independence can be ensured.

The Prime Minister insisted that Transgaz and Romgaz ‘contribute to the national strategy and to ensuring the energy independence.’ ‘Transgaz and Romgaz are currently operating, in the first place. They had successful listings on the stock market, with private capital along the state capital. They operate as two modern companies, that make investments, record profit, have employees. I need both Transgaz and Romgaz to contribute to the national strategy and to ensuring the energy independence and the support mainly for the Republic of Moldova, but also to the interconnection with all our other neighbours and to achieving this energy independence, without which Romania would find it very difficult to develop in a sustainable manner on medium and long-term,’ Prime Minister Victor Ponta explained.

He underscored that Transgaz should invest in the pipe that would transport the gas from the Black Sea. ‘You can bring them by channelling the infrastructure investments (…). There will not be any other project for transporting those reserves, there will not be any South Stream. (…) But only to Dobruja, to Romania’s territory and here you have an essential role,’ the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister believes another priority of Transgaz must be the gas transport to Chisinau, for ensuring the energy independence of the Republic of Moldova. ‘The second project I have in mind. We managed to build in one year (…) the gas pipeline that connects us to the Republic of Moldova. (…) For now, it has a symbolic value, in the first place, and then it has a limited economic value. Because the true support we grant the Republic of Moldova will be when you also have the compressor station and the transport capacity and when we can actually deliver gas to Chisinau, in case of need, not only to Ungheni. (…) The Republic of Moldova is an absolute priority. Everything we plan in terms of energy (…) we plan not only for Romania, but also for the Republic of Moldova,’ Prime Minister Ponta said.

The Prime Minister suggested the Transgaz management to also take into account the TAP and TANAP international projects, which are aimed at transporting gas from Azerbaijan, through the southern corridor, to the markets of the European countries. ‘Most certainly, further on Greece, Bulgaria, Romania must think how to connect to this network in the future. It is a long-term project, but it does not mean you shouldn’t take it into account,’ Ponta said.

He added that Romania’s energy independence, especially from Russia, was very important. ‘I don’t believe that Romania will truly be powerful and independent unless it ceases to depend on anyone in particular in terms of energy. Or, if we depend on the West, it is not that bad, it is all right. We should not depend on those of the East, who, when convenient, know how to turn the pressure higher or lower, and I get from you as much gas as it comes on the pipe, after which I find out the decision is made in Austria. No, I don’t think it is made in Austria, I believe the decision is made in Moscow, it is only implemented in Austria. The manner in which you draw up your strategy for the future will ensure us, as a country, the energy independence, which means political independence,’ the Prime Minister concluded.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Thursday participated in the 100th anniversary of natural gas transport in Romania, an event having taken place in Medias, at the main headquarters of Transgaz. The Prime Minister was accompanied in Medias by Deputy Prime Minister and Social Democratic Party Executive Chairman Liviu Dragnea, as well as by Transports Minister Ioan Rus and Minister Delegate for Energy Razvan Eugen Nicolescu.

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