Statement by Deputy Director Dirk Buschle

On behalf of the Energy Community Secretariat and in my capacity as facilitator of the negotiations between Moldova and Gas Natural Fenosa, I highly welcome the agreement between both parties signed on Friday evening. The agreement will help stabilize a sector which suffers from a systemic vulnerability unmatched in Europe and has witnessed financial turbulences in the past few years. Not acting upon the resulting deviations in the electricity tariff would have led to protracted legal disputes and negatively affected Moldova’s reputation as an investment destination and a reliable partner for international organizations. I felicitate in particular the Government which had the courage to change the negative path of action and open the possibility for further reform and support. With today’s agreement, Moldova has shown that it takes its membership in the Energy Community seriously not only in the letter but also in its spirit. The ball is now with the regulatory authority ANRE to implement today’s agreement and with the international community to help ending the country’s dependence in its electricity and gas supply and infrastructure.”

Background

The settlement agreement signed on Friday in Chisinau between Gas Natural Fenosa and the Government of Moldova is the first and decisive step to bring to an end a months-long dispute and an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) arbitration between the Republic of Moldova and the country’s largest supplier and distributor of electricity, a subsidiary of the Spanish utility Gas Natural Fenosa. The dispute arose from deviations between the costs of purchasing electricity and the electricity tariff regulated by ANRE. Following the initiation of arbitration proceedings by Gas Natural Fenosa in 2015, Deputy Director Dirk Buschle was appointed by both parties as facilitator of the negotiations, which have taken place in Chisinau over the last months.