The financing package, which includes €41m each from EIB and the EBRD as well as the €10m grant from the EU, is intended to strengthen Moldova’s energy security.

Moldova state-owned firm Î.S. Vestmoldtransgaz will use the funding to build and operate the gas pipeline and the Romania-Moldova interconnector.

The natural gas pipeline project is expected to increase the competitiveness of Moldovan energy market to the benefit of citizens.

EIB vice-president Jan Vapaavuori said: “I welcome very much that the EIB contributes to the diversification of the energy resources for the Republic of Moldova, a country dependent on energy imports.

“This will help to increase the energy security and support both the liberalization of the gas market in the country as well as its integration in the European energy system.

“At the same time this project is a good example of a successful cooperation between the EIB, our partner financing institution EBRD and the European Union that are co-financing this strategic undertaking”.

The project will link Chisinau, a major area of gas consumption in the country, to the interconnector between the eastern Romanian city of Iasi and Ungheni, a Moldovan town on the Romanian border.

EBRD Chisinau office head Dimitri Gvindadze said that the pipeline will allow Moldova to import gas from EU markets while allowing it to diversify its energy supplies and boost competition in the sector.

The EBRD is also offering €1m grant financing from its own funds to support the implementation of the project, including legal and regulatory assistance.