Requests To Hike Gas Prices Are Justifiable - ANRE

05.10.2011 By Andrei Circhelan

Natural gas suppliers operating in Romania are entitled to request the increase of regulated prices and the use of reserves for several industrial consumers, according to a document of the local energy regulator ANRE.

The authority issued a document saying there are multiple factors justifying a gas price increase, including the higher price of imported gas, the weight of imports in the consumption basket, the reduction of nationwide consumption and the rising inflation.

Romania currently imports natural gas at some $400 per thousand cubic meters, as opposed to $290 two years ago. In addition, imports accounted for 32% of the consumption basket in January, compared to 25% in 2010.

"These changes occurring on the natural gas market entitle gas suppliers and distributors to request higher prices," said the document signed by ANRE president Dan Iulius Plaveti.

Regulated prices are established by ANRE and they mainly target household consumers.

The largest gas distributors operating in Romania are French-Belgian group GDF Suez and German utilities company E.ON.

The last price change occured on July 1, 2009, when gas prices for households were cut by 8%.

Early-February, the International Monetary Fund asked Romanian authorities to deregulate gas and electricity prices and to come up with a new price calculation formula. Later, the Government announced that a deregulation calendar would be set up by September 2011, and deregulation would unfold between 2013 and 2015.

Romania will free the natural gas market in stages by 2013 for companies and between 2013 and 2015 for household consumers, Jeffrey Franks, the head of the IMF delegation to Romania, said Monday.


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