The department of energy said Friday that the deregulation of gas prices for companies has been stopped as the price of domestic gas is on par with the imported one, with the prices expected to remain flat and even fall in the coming months.
The deregulation of energy prices was assumed by the government as part of the loan deals with international lenders including the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU. Big industrial consumers have called on the government to stop the deregulation, claiming it was putting them out of business.
“The department of energy considers that based on the information provided by ANRE (energy regulator), with regard to non-household consumers, the price converge between the domestic and imported (e.n. gas) has been reached, which has been agreed with international financial institutions. Consequently, for non-household consumers, we do not think that no more increases based on the established calendar are necessary anymore,” said the department in a statement.
The country has completed last year the deregulation of electricity prices for companies and has to do the same for households by 2018. By this time, Romania should also deregulate gas prices for individual consumers.
The department published a draft bill that would see producers trade gas on the centralized market in a transparent manner. The energy regulator will decide on the mandatory volume that needs to be traded.
Gas suppliers will also have to go on the centralized market between March 2015 and December 31, for domestic and imported gas. The department has also proposed an 8-month transitory period for regulated company consumers so that they can sign new supply deals.
The ANRE should also revise the network code for a better functioning of the market, according to another proposal.
The domestic gas market is split between Austria’s OMV Petrom and state-owned producer Romgaz, while the biggest share of imports is covered by Russia’s Gazprom.