Hungary supports the realisation of every gas infrastructural project that brings route or source diversification to the country, said Development Minister Tamás Fellegi, after meeting his Italian counterpart Paolo Romani in Milan on Monday. The ministers discussed a number of co-operation possibilities in the field of renewable and nuclear energy, the Hungarian ministry said in a statement.
Among the recent past’s most important events Fellegi highlighted the signing of the Project Support Agreements (PSAs) for the Nabucco Pipeline between Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH and the responsible ministries of the five transit countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Turkey). At the same time, he said that in order to strengthen natural gas source and supply security, the Hungarian government also supports the building of the South Stream pipeline that bears importance for Italy. He said it was in the best interest of Hungary to establish a north-south gas pipeline link as a joint European project. Among its advantages he mentioned that fact that by making it a two-way route they would make it possible to transfer natural gas to Central Europe on a branch of the Nord Stream and also from the Mediterranean Sea. South Stream is to have a full capacity of 63 bcm/year at the entry point in Bulgaria and from 20 to 22 bcm/year, depending on the route, at the endpoint of the gas pipeline. Its offshore length (four lines in a depth of more than 2,000 metres) will be 923 kilometres and its onshore section will be 1,600 to 2,540 km, depending on the route. The launch date was put to December 2015 (with subsequent annual ramp-up of the capacities). Fellegi said the Hungarian-Italian Energy Work Group is an appropriate forum not only to enhance the general energy relations between the two countries but also to strengthen business and corporate relations and seek projects and investment opportunities that could be beneficial for both countries, primarily in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency. He said Hungary and Italy could splendidly work together in the utilisation of geothermal and solar energy.
While in opposition, Orban’s Fidesz party heavily criticized the Socialist government for teaming too closely with Russia on energy issues, mainly the Russian-backed gas pipeline project South Stream.www.portfolio.hu