The authorities need to take the best measures to avoid some major distortions on the natural gas market, due to the anticipated liberalization conditions, and the process needs careful preparation, according to the representatives of the Association of the Energy Utility Companies (ACUE).

„ACUE supports the liberalization of the natural gas market from Romania in the conditions of existence of the necessary elements that ensure its functionality in a transparent and efficient manner, and the non-discriminatory access of participants. Unfortunately, at present the natural gas market from Romania doesn’t fulfill the liberalization conditions that allow the development of this stage, therefore we consider that the development of the process without a preparation in advance will have negative effects in the natural gas market and will affect the general public interest, especially next winter,” said the representatives of ACUE in a statement.

One of the main reasons why the representatives of ACUE want to postpone the deregulation of acquisition prices of natural gases, forecasted currently for April 1 2017, refers to the fact that the deregulation of the acquisition prices for the natural gas might lead to an increase in their final prices for households and for the thermal energy producers that benefit now from an acquisition price established through a Government decision.

„If currently the acquisition cost of natural gas for the regulated market is worth RON 60/MWh, the deregulation of this cost element will lead in a first stage to an immediate increase of it up to the acquisition price for the liberalized market which is currently worth RON 72-80/MWh, resulting from the few transactions closed until now on the centralized markets. We should mention that the price of the imported natural gas is established via a mechanism that considers the correlation of the oil price with the RON/USD exchange rate,” say the representatives of the Federation.

According to the source, the forecasts for the winter 2017-2018 show an important increase at the end of 2017 in the natural gas cost ( approximately RON 100/MWh in the third quarter and RON 104/MWh in the last quarter).