Hungary set to triple EV battery capacity by 2025

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Hungary aims to raise local electric vehicle battery production capacity from 50 GWh to 150 GWh by 2025, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told parliament's Economic Committee at a hearing on Wednesday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Szijjártó said the automotive industry has become a "key branch" of Hungary's manufacturing sector, and stressed the "special importance" of bringing the production of EVs, as well as cars with internal combustion engines, to Hungary.

He added that supply chains must be shortened.

He said the value of global food supply has appreciated because of the crisis and noted that Hungary's food industry has capacity to meet double the local demand. He added that "intensive support" for farm and food sector developments is planned in the future.

Fielding questions, Szijjártó said Hungary has done much to diversify its energy supply in recent years, pointing out that interconnectors exist between the gas networks of all seven of its neighbors and will soon be in place between all seven neighbors' electricity networks.

He added that Hungary has a long-term gas contract not only with Russia but with Shell, for the delivery of LNG.

Addressing the issue of an embargo on Russian oil recently proposed by the European Commission, he said Hungary is not prepared to risk its energy security because of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

He put a price tag of EUR 550 million on refitting the country's main oil refinery for non-Russian crude and said such an undertaking would take four years.

He said the sanctions on Russia do not apply to nuclear energy and confirmed that the expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant will move forward. Because of the energy crisis, it's necessary to accelerate the development, he added.

The committee cleared Szijjártó to take his position in the next government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban with a vote of 10 for and 3 against.

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