Moldova’s energy sector relies heavily on imports of electricity and gas. The country produces only about 20 percent of its annual electricity consumption from natural gas-fired combined heat and electricity power plants. Moldova has one hydropower plant, the Costesti Hydropower Plant. Moldavskaya GRES (MGRES) in the separatist region of Transnistria supplies the vast majority of the remaining 80 percent of electricity. Moldova also imports electricity from Ukraine. Moldova’s natural gas consumption almost exclusively relies on Russian gas imports. MGRES converts Russian gas into electricity for sale to the right bank.
Moldova has committed to implement reforms embedded within the European Union’s Third Energy Package, a suite of legislation adopted in 2009 aimed at creating integrated and competitive energy markets for natural gas and electricity. As part of the reforms, Moldova restructured and partially privatized its electricity distribution network, including Premier Energy, a private company that controls 70 percent of the country’s electric distribution grid. The government plans to privatize the remaining state-owned electric distribution companies, RED Nord S.A., and the electric power supply company, FEE Nord S.A.
Moldova and Romania are cooperating to build an HVDC back-to-back (B2B) interconnector station, along with corresponding transmission lines, which will enable Moldova to physically connect with the Romanian grid and provide access to Romanian and, by extension, other European electricity markets. In concert with Ukraine, Moldova connected synchronously to the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) on March 16, 2022.
Moldova continues to progress toward unbundling Moldovagaz, the vertically integrated natural gas monopoly, to comply with Third Energy Package requirements. Romania’s Transgaz completed the Ungheni-Chisinau Pipeline in 2021. This allows further diversification of Moldova’s gas supply. The first gas supplies from alternative sources were made in October 2021.
The government is also exploring opportunities to enable commercial natural gas trade via “reverse flow” (both physical and virtual) through the Trans-Balkan pipeline on Moldovan territory, which could also position the country as a transit hub.
Energy efficiency; gas and electricity trade; gas storage; renewable energy - wind energy, solar energy, and biofuels.
Energy security is a priority for Moldova. High-voltage interconnections between Moldova and Romania require the installation of a back-to-back station. International financial institutions, including the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the European Investment Bank (EIB) finance the majority of these projects. Further infrastructure investment and upgrades will be required for synchronous connection with Moldova and Ukraine to ENSTO-E. There is also potential for support from the Development Finance Corporation.
Implementation of the Third Energy Package in the gas sector will provide opportunities for natural gas supply and trade from alternative sources from Western Europe or neighboring Romania and Ukraine. Rising energy prices and Moldova’s efforts to diversify it’s gas and electricity sources provide an opportunity for traders to supply energy from alternative sources.
The government plans to diversify the energy mix with more renewable energy by supporting large renewable energy projects based on competitive procurement.
There are plans to privatize a number of energy assets in the following years, including the electricity distribution companies RED Nord S.A.
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