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Iasi-Ungheni gas pipeline inaugurated with Romanian, Moldovan Prime Minister and EU Energy Commissioner attending


Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta, his Moldovan counterpart Iurie Leanca and European Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger this Wednesday lit in the town of Zagarancea - Ungheni rayon, the inaugural torch on the Iasi-Ungheni gas pipeline, with the two states' official delegations and locals attending the ceremony.

'Exactly one year ago I was here with Mr. Leanca and Mr. Oettinger to finally kick-start the gas pipeline project. Some of you said that they had heard of this pipeline five years, 10 years and even 15 years ago and doubted that we would really get it built. Now we did it and I want to thank Commissioner Oettinger, because without the European Commission's support, Romania and Moldova alone could not have succeeded in doing this. I want to congratulate Iurie Leanca on being a Prime Minister whose major concern every day, every hour is: 'What needs still to be done for the people of Moldova?' (...). That's how a Prime Minister who wants the best for his country acts and we are trying to do this together. I believe that by today's opening ceremony we give a message to everyone, and I want us to be friends with everyone, but the message must be clear: for Moldova and Romania to be truly independent they also need energy, just as we need all the other resources. Together we can be truly independent and jointly garner respect for this. And this is the message we give today to Europe and everybody,' were Prime Minister Victor Ponta's remarks in the speech delivered at the opening of the Iasi-Ungheni gas pipeline.

Victor Ponta thanked the companies involved in the project, as well as his fellow ministers in the Government, Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea, Minister of Economy Constantin Nita and Minister-delegate for Energy Razvan Nicolescu in particular.

The two Prime Ministers mentioned at the end of the ceremony that the pipeline will be laid and connected to the final point - Chisinau, in two years.

'What is essential today is that for the first time in its history Moldova no longer relies on just one supplier. Now as far as technology is concerned, the Government of Romania and company Transgaz will see to the works, whilst the Government of Moldova will too do its part with EIB and EBRD grants. We act in such a way that in two years Chisinau too will have not just this potential gas connection, but also the necessary amount and pressure,' said Prime Minister Victor Ponta.

Premier Iurie Leanca and EU Commissioner Gunther Oettinger emphasized in their speeches the role played by the Romanian Prime Minister in the construction of the Iasi-Ungheni gas pipeline, also pointing out that this project takes Moldova one step further on the track of its integration with the European Union and towards its energy independence.

The construction of the Iasi-Ungheni gas pipeline started one year ago; of the project's total cost of 26 million euros, the EU offered 7 million euros in financial support through a grant.

The gas pipeline with total length of 43.2 km has a capacity of 1.5 billion cubic meters, of which Romania will initially supply up to 50 million cubic meters per year. On Moldova's territory, the gas pipeline will be leased out by state-owned company Vestmoldtransgaz, while Transgaz will do the same in Romania. The next stage of the project is the construction of the Ungheni-Chisinau gas pipeline on the territory of the Republic of Moldova and of the Onesti-Letcani pipeline, as well as of a compressor station in Romania.

Also on Wednesday, the two Prime Ministers visited the construction site of the kindergarten of Marinici - Nisporeni rayon, which is part of a 20 million euro worth of project funded by the Government of Romania for the construction and modernization of the Republic of Moldova's school infrastructure.

Victor Ponta and Iurie Leanca also attended the ceremony marking the Romanian Government's donation of five ambulance emergency response vehicles to the Moldovan Government; they will equip a pilot facility in the city of Balti, intended to ensure emergency interventions in the north of the Republic of Moldova.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta is to return Wednesday afternoon from his trip to the Republic of Moldova.