Hungary and Slovenia have submitted a joint bid for European Union funding for linking their gas networks, which would allow Hungary to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Italy, the foreign minister said on Saturday.
The diversification of gas supplies is a key issue for Hungary, Péter Szijjártó told MTI. Given the current uncertainty around the construction of the LNG terminal in Croatia, the fact that Croatia’s price offer is well above market price, and the uncertainty of when US and Austrian gas industry companies can begin extracting gas from Romania’s sub-sea gas fields, Hungary must establish new sources of gas delivery, Szijjártó said.
One such scenario is the import of LNG via Italian ports, the minister said. He added, however, that the infrastructure for Hungary to buy LNG directly from Italy was not yet in place.
This is why Hungary has signed an agreement with Slovenia, Szijjártó explained, noting that by connecting the two countries’ gas networks, Hungary will be able to import gas from Italy. Talks on the required capacity of the interconnector that would link the two countries’ gas networks are ongoing, he said. A European Council decision on the matter is expected in the spring, Szijjártó added.