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Slovak Eustream CEO says Hungary's FGSZ stopped construction

CEO Antoine Jourdain of Slovak gas-transmission company Eustream told the Slovak daily SME on Monday that Hungary's FGSZ Foldgazszallito, the gas-transmission unit of Hungarian oil and gas company MOL, halted construction of a planned gas pipeline between Slovakia and Hungary.

Jourdain told the newspaper that FGSZ stopped the joint project after conducting a survey whose results suggested that such a cross-border pipeline would not be profitable.

FGSZ told MTI on Monday that the company could not have stopped the project since it had not yet begun. The company noted that seven companies had participated in an "Open Season" procedure in July, though had not committed to purchasing a sufficient amount of gas. FGSZ said that it has continued talks with regard to the construction under which the pipeline might be built between the two countries.

FGSZ would have paid approximately EUR 100m to build its 95km section of the pipeline, while Eustream would have paid EUR 20m to build its 20km segment. The European Union approved EUR 30m in support for the project this spring.

While SME quoted unnamed Slovak government sources as saying that Hungarian government pressure could have had a role, Mr Jourdain said that he had no information indicating that Hungary's government had encouraged FGSZ to stop the project.

"I am not in Hungary, I don't understand their language, I cannot comment on what's taking place there," Mr Jourdain told Sme. (MTI-ECONEWS)