The Republic of Moldova will be able to connect its electricity network with Romania’s thanks to a joint investment by international partners.
Following an initial €160 million loan provided in equal parts by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank, the EU is now joining the project with a €40 million investment grant. The World Bank is also providing a US$70 million loan. The EU grant will co-finance the construction of a 600 MW, back-to-back converter substation in Vulcănești.
The EU Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova, Peter Michalko, said: “We took a step forward in our effort to help the Republic of Moldova connect to the electricity distribution network of the EU, which will contribute greatly to the country’s energy security. In the medium term, the goal is the full integration into the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity. It is a long process but worth the effort.”
The interconnection is of critical importance for the diversification of Moldova’s electricity resources. Currently, the country depends on a single power plant fuelled by natural gas, oil and coal and on electricity imports from Ukraine for up to 80% of its electricity supply. The link to the Romanian electrical network will considerably enhance the stability and reliability of its power supply – an essential part of the country’s economic development.
The diversification of electricity resources will open up Moldova’s electricity market to increased competition, with access to the European market generating economic benefits for both companies and citizens. The project will ultimately pave the way towards Moldova’s integration into the European electricity grid operated by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity. The interconnection will be built by Moldova’s public electricity utility Moldelectrica between 2019 and 2024.
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