Vadim Ceban: Problem resides not in price of gas, but in provision of necessary volumes

Moldova’s debts to Gazprom and the implementation of the Third Energy Package are the main problems faced by the Moldovan negotiators in the discussions with representatives of the Russian gas giant. At the same time, the current energy crisis is determined not by the purchase price, but by the possibility of ensuring the volumes of gas needed by the country, said the president of the Administration Board of Moldovagaz Vadim Ceban. According to him, in October the household users and public institutions will not remain without natural gas, IPN reports.

Vadim Ceban said that in the negotiations with Gazprom, Chisinau insists on the extension of the previous contract for the purchase of gas, based on the old price calculation formula. According to the official, the deadlock reached in the negotiations is also due to the debt of US$450 million for gas accumulated by Moldovagaz, which is debt of the right side of the Nistru.

“The discussions on the signing of a new contract or the extension of the current contract started in June. We hoped to extend the contract for a three-year period based on the current price calculation formula. At the current stage, we are having talks, but problems are encountered, related to the debts and to the implementation of the Third Energy Package. The problem now does not reside in the price, but in the capacity to ensure the necessary volumes. There is a serious natural gas shortage in Europe and Gazprom is the only supplier that can satisfy the demand. The struggle is now for volumes,” Vadim Ceban stated in the talk show “In Depth” on ProTV Chisinau channel.

He noted that purchasing gas from Ukraine and Romania is a solution, but the goal is to sign a contract with the primary source so as to avoid paying an exorbitant price.

“We consider we must have a direct contract with the one that owns the source. Ukraine and Romania have volumes, but the prices there are very high and we cannot cover them. Why do you think we extended the contract for a month? Because we didn’t want such a price. The price in Ukraine is now of US$ 1,000-1,200 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas. The people should realize that there is gas, but it is expensive. For October we have reserves for the protected consumers, which is for those from the public service sector and for household users,” said Vadim Ceban.

The National Commission on Emergencies on October 14 declared a state of alert in the energy sector so that the crude oil from the state reserves can be used to produce electricity and heat. The previous contract with Gazprom was extended for October and Moldova now pays US$790 per 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas. The Government is considering compensatory measurers for household, industrial and commercial users and solutions for economizing on natural gas.

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