The construction works on the gas pipeline linking Iasi, Romania to Ungheni, the Republic of Moldova were opened in the neighbouring country, with Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta, Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca and European Commissioner for Energy Guenther Oettinger attending.
The pipeline will be 43.2 kilometers long, with 32 km of it being in the Romanian territory, it will be 508 centimeters in diameter and will be located underground at a depth of 1.8-2.2 meters. The pipeline will be able to carry a maximum 1.5 billion cubic meters a year, which is more than Moldova’s annual gas consumption.
Nevertheless, for the pipeline to be used at its maximum capacity, the Republic of Moldova is to build a pipeline to link Ungheni to Straseni, which will enable getting the natural gas from the Iasi-Ungheni pipeline and providing the annual gas consumption. The project needs at least 60 million euros in investments and the Chisinau authorities said it could be achieved over some four to five years.
Chisinau hopes Romania would be able to deliver Moldova natural gas at a lower price than the one it imports from Russia at around 400 dollars for 1,000 cubic meters.
Building the reversible Iasi-Ungheni pipeline was agreed and included in the Moldovan-Romanian Cooperation Protocol from May 24, 2010 and in the Memorandum signed by the Moldovan Economy Ministry and the Romanian Ministry of Economy, Trade and Business Climate on Oct. 25, 2010.
Former Moldovan Premier Vlad Filat and Romanian counterpart Victor Ponta signed a joint declaration on July 17, 2012 on the bilateral cooperation on energy security, including the achievement of the Iasi-Ungheni pipeline and the high-voltage electric lines linking Suceava to Balti and Iasi to Ungheni.