The authorities prepared a number of measures to reduce the impact of possible lower supplies of natural gas. Among these are the daily monitoring of reasonable consumption of energy resources and ensuring of the recommended internal temperature in buildings. This would enable to reduce energy consumption in public and commercial buildings by 10%. The measures are stipulated in a draft decision presented by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Regional Development for public debates, IPN reports.
The action plan envisions the lowering of the temperature of the heat supplied into the centralized heating system by up to 10% by maintaining the minimum required values, turning off of street lighting at night starting at 11pm, organization of distance learning for educational institutions.
If necessary, the consumers will be switched over to alternative fuels, such as biomass, coal and crude oil, and to electric generators where it is possible from technical viewpoint.
The document notes that Moldova is fully dependent on the gas supplied by the Russian gas giant Gazprom and does not have capacities to store natural gas, if only in the neighboring countries. The natural gas infrastructure of the Transnistrian region is not under the control of the Government of the Republic of Moldova.
“Even if there is a contract for the supply of natural gas valid for five years between SA Moldovagaz and SAP Gazprom, there is a risk that the contract will be terminated unilaterally owing to the non-performance of the audit of debts so that the natural gas supplies can be limited or stopped at any time. There is also the risk of the absence of safe and competitive (alternative) sources for the import of natural gas at reasonable prices and for their transportation to the Republic of Moldova (including through the Trans-Balkan pipeline in reverse flow),” says the document.
The Ministry noted that if all the measures to reduce and alleviate the impact of possible lower gas supplies are implemented, about 500 million cubic meters of natural gas can be saved or substituted during the 2022-2023 heating season without considering the disconnection of all the interruptible consumers (except for SA Termoelectrica) and the purchase of natural gas from alternative sources.
Ex-President Igor Dodon criticized the government’s plan. “We have never seen such incompetence, misery and irresponsibility in the management of the country. Only persons without soul who are indifferent to the sufferings of the citizens can economize at the expense of the people’s heath and security. It seems that it is easier for Maia Sandu to leave people to stay in the darkness than to negotiate the price of gas and to bring quietness in the county,” stated Igor Dodon.