Delgaz Grid has invested almost 3 billion lei in modernizing the natural gas infrastructure in the last 15 years, and the number of customers served has increased by 670,000, according to a company press release, sent to AGERPRES on Monday.
The announced investments were mainly aimed at modernizing the natural gas distribution network that currently supplies more than 1,080 localities in 20 counties located in the north of the country. In this sense, over 5,600 km of steel pipes and connections were replaced with polyethylene pipes, and cathodic protection was applied along another 2,875 km of steel pipes.
According to the cited source, significant amounted were directed towards the extension of the network by over 2,200 km, both in the concession area and in about 80 other new concessions. At the same time, the number of customers connected to networks has increased by 56%, from 1.2 million in 2005 to 1.87 million today, by an average of about 45,000 each year.
Improving operational safety has also included the purchase of state-of-the-art natural gas leak detection equipment, auto-laboratories and cutting edge equipment. In this regard, the company mentions that, only last year, five million lei (about one million euros) were invested for this purpose.
As regards the investment plans for the next period, the company announces that almost one billion lei (198 million euros) will be allocated for the modernization of the natural gas networks, between 2020 and 2023, of which 7.7 million lei (1.5 million euros) and represent EU funds attracted for the replacement of pipes and connections, network expansion, metering and connection of new consumers.
Delgaz Grid, the distribution company within the German E.ON Group, operates a natural gas network of over 23,300 km in 20 counties in the North and West of Romania (Cluj, Bistrita Nasaud, Maramures, Satu Mare, Salaj, Timis, Arad, Bihor, Caras-Severin, Hunedoara, Mures, Sibiu, Alba, Harghita, Iasi, Botosani, Vaslui, Suceava, Neamt and Bacau). The company also operates an electricity network of almost 82,300 km in six counties in Moldova (Bacau, Botosani, Iasi, Neamt, Suceava and Vaslui).
Since entering the local market in 2005, E.ON has invested about 1.8 billion euros mainly in the modernization of gas and electricity networks and transferred 2.5 billion euros in taxes and fees to the state.