INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND EUROPEAN FUNDS
Transgaz’ integration, at European level, as a prestigious company by its active participation in projects of regional and European interest and by dynamic partnerships with companies in the field, is the core of the company’s international cooperation activity.
□ CURRENT CONTEXT
In the current context of the necessity to identify new gas transmission corridors to ensure the diversification of gas supply sources and the increase of energy security of the EU Member States the immediate implementation of the National gas transmission system development plan – by the achievement of projects underlying the future main transmission pipelines with a significant regional impact - is crucial for Romania's strategic role in the energy field.
Subsequent to the analysis of the necessary investments for the achievement of this objective, the necessity to access European funding programs, as grants, is certainly a priority in this respect, in a regulated environment.
In order to fulfill these strategic goals Transgaz needs to develop consolidated cooperation relations with the Romanian institutions (Ministries, intermediate bodies, agencies, competent authorities, etc.), with the Directorate General for Energy within the European Commission, with the Transmission System Operators in the neighboring countries (Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, Ukraine), with companies in the gas field and with other Transmission System Operators in the European Union (Spain, Trance, Belgium, Greece, the Central and South-Eastern European countries (Turkey, Azerbaidjan, Turkmenistan, Georgia and Iran).
□ THE EUROPEAN FUNDS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS DIVISION – TRANSGAZ’ INTERFACE FOR ACCESSING FINANCING AND FOR THE COOPERATION WITH FOREIGN PARTNERS
(a) The European Funds Unit identifies by means of its specialized departments financing opportunities from European funds and manages the grants accessing procedures in relation with Transgaz’ projects aiming at the upgrading/retrofitting/development of the National Gas Transmission System ensuring:
- The interface between the company, project partners and all relevant specialists, national and international competent authorities throughout the implementation of projects funded by grants
- Cooperation with Management Authorities and Intermediate Bodies, Energy Department and General Specialty Directorates within the European Commission as well as with internal and external project partners.
(b) The International Relations Unit within Transgaz, provides the interface between the company and foreign partners (companies and national and international associations), constantly monitoring the evolution of their mutual projects contributing thus to:
- Achieving the European Union goals on the increase of interconnectivity
- The creation of a single integrated market so as to ensure the security of gas supply
- Facilitating the cooperation with European bodies and institutions as well as with all the participants to the process of creating an internal energy market within the European Union
- Representing the company and promoting its image and international projects developed by it both within international conferences and congresses and to other interested investors.
▫ ACCESS TO EUROPEAN FUNDING
- The Connecting Europe Facility
The financial year of the European Commission, 2014–2020, ensures through the Connecting Europe Facility grants for the implementation of eligible projects in the field of interconnecting energy and digital transmission networks, key elements for the achievement of a unique European market. Moreover, investments in key infrastructures with an added value for the EU, may stimulate medium and long term competition in Europe in a difficult economic context influenced by a slow increase and by a rigorous budget.
Such infrastructure investments deemed to be Projects of Common Interest (PCI) are essential for the achievement of sustainable growth objectives of the EU, presented in the Europa 2020 Strategy, as well as the objectives „20-20-20” of the EU in the field of energy and climate.
„The National Gas Transmission System development plan for the period 2014 – 2023”, envisages the achievement of important transmission infrastructure development projects and projects related to its capacity increase.
The geostrategic position and the gas resources of the potential offshore exploitations in the Black Sea may turn Romania into a significant player in the region, but only if it develops and adapts its national gas transmission system to real and secure transmission scenarios and provided TRANSGAZ reduces its own financial contribution by attracting grants.
The structures responsible for accessing EU Funds for TRANSGAZ' projects monitor permanently all the possibilities to attract grants by correlating the eligibility criteria provided in the financing programs at the level of the European Commission and/or those managed by Romania.
Therefore, in order to benefit from grants under the Connecting Europe Facility, TRANSGAZ submitted two applications – accepted by the European Commission – the allocated amount being over EUR 180 million.
These 2 projects were prepared entirely in house without external consultancy related costs:
- Gas transmission pipeline between Bulgaria and Austria, via Romania and Hungary (BRHA)
- Preparation of the FEED for the 3 Compressor stations, related to the BRHA route.
- The Large Infrastructure Operational Program (LIOP)
At the same time, through the Large Infrastructure Operational Program (LIOP) managed by the Management Authority within the European Funds Ministry, approximately EUR 55 million were allocated for the Priority Axis 8, Strategic objective 8.2 „The increase of the interconnectivity of the National Gas Transmission System with other neighboring countries”.
The eligibility criteria set by LIOP were fulfilled by the project „Development of the NTS in the North –East of Romania to improve gas supply to the area as well as to ensure transmission capacities towards the Republic of Moldova”.
The necessary documents for the submission of the Application are under preparation and their submission is scheduled during 2016.
TRANSGAZ' projects highlighted in ″The National Gas Transmission System development plan for the period 2014 – 2023” require a great investment effort, their achievement being correlated with the transmission scenarios in the South East European area with the gas resources in the potential off-shore exploitations in the Black Sea as well as with the ones from the European Southern Corridor in order to increase the supply possibilities from more current and future sources.
▫ INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
In view of the implementation of strategic objectives underlying the transformation of our company into a European company, Transgaz consolidates its status both by its geographical location and by the monopoly owned upon the operation of the national gas transmission system asserting its regional importance by the participation and active involvement in European forums, organizations and bodies in this field, by partaking in projects of regional and European interest and by developing active partnerships with companies in this sector.
▫ Regional Cooperation with other companies in the field
- Cooperation with gas companies in Russia GAZPROM EXPORT OOO:
The cooperation relation is focused on the International transmission of Russian gas, on the Romanian territory, towards the Balkans and Turkey.
- Cooperation with Neighboring Gas Transmission System Operators
In view of the implementation and joint operation of the cross border interconnections, Transgaz develops partnerships within specific projects with:
Transgaz develops together with BULGARTRANSGAZ EAD two major objectives:
- The Interconnection project Bulgaria-Romania, in the Ruse-Giurgiu direction:
- The public procurement procedures for the construction works of the Main Pipeline, in line with the applicable Bulgarian laws and of the Back-up pipeline according to the applicable Romanian laws.
- The works for the Danube undercrossing and the related works are undergoing (European co-financing) and they are to be completed by the end of 2016.
- Joint operation of the cross border interconnection points Negru Vodă I and II
- The parties are in the process of concluding Interconnection Agreements according to Regulation (EU) 2015/ 703 for the establishment of a Network Code on interoperability and data transfer.
TRANSGAZ’ cooperation with the Hungarian company FGSZ Ltd. regarding:
- The project „Development on the Romanian territory of the transmission corridor Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria”
- The parties cooperated in view of the harmonization of the entries for the Cost benefit analysis related to the project PCI no 7.1.5. “Gas pipeline from Bulgaria to Austria via Romania and Hungary” (BRHA): the preparation of a new investment request for EU financial assistance through the Connecting Europe Facility Mechanism for the development of BRHA Project.
- The implementation of the provisions of the Network Codes (CAM, BAL, INT)
- As neighboring Transmission System Operators, Transgaz and FGSZ, concluded an Interconnection Agreement for the Interconnection Point Csanadpalota, in line with Regulation (EU) 2015/703,
- In order to ensure the compliance with the Regulation (EU) 2013/984, related to capacity trading at the cross border interconnection point through the Regional Capacity Booking Platform (RBP) the parties signed a new Cooperation and TSO Membership Agreement.
Cooperation with UKRTRANSGAZ:
- The parties are in the process of concluding an Interconnection Agreement for the cross border interconnection points according to the applicable European regulations.
- The Republic of Moldova:
Together with VESTMOLDTRANSGAZ both companies cooperate for the necessary developments of the Iași-Ungheni Interconnection, with the necessary investments both in the North-Eastern region of Romania (approximately 163 km pipelines and 2 compressor stations) and on the Moldavian side (approximately 117 km pipelines from Ungheni to Chișinău).
▫ Cooperation with other companies in the natural gas sector
Meetings and negotiations are undergoing or were organized (some of them materialized by Memorandums of Understanding) for the identification or implementation of business opportunities for the development of projects of regional, European or International interest with:
- European and non-European gas transmission system operators as: GRT Gaz (France), ENA GAS (Spain), Eustream AS (Slovakia), DESFA (Greece), National Grid (Great Britain), Fluxys (Belgium), Plinacro and LNG Croația, LLC (Croatia), Srbijagas (Serbia), Socar (Azerbaidjan)
Priority is given to maintaining the connection with International services and equipment suppliers for the gas industry as well as with international research institutes for a permanent updating of the information specific to this sector and the application within the company and in the NTS of the new technologies and services.
▫ Cooperation with the European Commission
TRANSGAZ cooperates with the Directorate - General for Energy of the European Commission for the promotion of transmission corridors through Romania and for the timely identification of financing programs developed by the European Commission.
Our company is also involved in the activity of Regional Groups, Southern Gas Corridor and NSI East, Central East South Europe Connectivity working groups.
▫ Relationship with National and international Bodies
Transgaz acceded throughout time and maintained its membership in national and international bodies in this field (economic/energy associations, commerce chambers, oil and gas associations, joint committees, federations and associations in the international gas sector).
The advantages and benefits of such affiliations are mainly:
- the promotion of the company and of its objectives and interests,
- the access to updated information in the field of regulations, policies, innovations, standards and products in the gas sector,
- the participation to national and international events (conferences, seminars, forums, symposiums, specialty courses).