Romania’s largest energy suppliers will increase the price of natural gas by two and a half to three times from July, mostly justifying the rise in price with the war in Ukraine.
Despite reassuring statements made by Bucharest government officials, the steep rise in energy prices in Romania which began last year is unstoppable, according to the Hungarian-language Romanian newspaper Krónika.
The rise in prices is due to the abolition of state-regulated energy prices, namely the liberalization of the retail price of natural gas in July 2020, and the abolition of the residential price of electricity in January 2021.
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Referring to the upward trend in global prices, companies have seen a price increases of 15-20 percent and then 100-200 percent, Krónika writes, but there are already utility companies that currently sell natural gas and electricity at four to five times the price from a year and a half ago.
The Romanian newspaper points out that the process of rising prices is far from over. E.ON Energie, one of the largest gas companies in Romania supplying 3 million residential and industrial customers, has recently informed consumers that it will supply natural gas at almost two and a half times the current price from July.
“Due to the continuous increase in the purchase price of natural gas in the recent period, and the changes in the conditions of the Romanian energy market, our company is not able to extend the contract concluded with you under the current commercial conditions,” a contract amendment sent to customers read.
Another gas distributor, Engie Romania, has also notified its customers that it will increase natural gas prices from 0.254 RON per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to 0.685 RON (€0.14), a two and a half times increase.
While Romania has recently sped up construction of its offshore natural gas extraction platform in the Black Sea, that project will probably take years to become fully operational. Meanwhile, on a typical winter day, Romania uses 40 million cubic meters of gas, of which some 24 million cubic meters come from land-based domestic extraction. The rest, however, albeit via three different routes, all comes from Russia.