Romanian, Hungarian FMs discuss gas interconnector

Energy Trade

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Romania has agreed to establish the technical conditions to export natural gas to Hungary by 2020 and would increase capacity by 2022, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in Bucharest Monday after meeting with his Romanian counterpart Teodor Meleșcanu.   

Romania has undertaken to build the compressors necessary to export 1.75 billion cubic meters of gas a year to Hungary by 2020, and would increase the capacity that makes it possible to buy another 4.4 bln cubic meters of gas extracted by ExxonMobil and OMV by 2022, Szijjártó told Hungaryʼs national news agency MTI.

This will be the first opportunity for Hungary for several decades to buy gas from a source other than Russia, Szijjártó noted. Creating an interconnector operating in both directions has long been planned, he noted.

Szijjártó also announced that Hungary has decided to build the missing section of the North-South gas corridor between Vecsés, near Budapest, and Városföld, near Kecskemét. The interconnector between Hungary and Slovakia ends at Vecsés.

The two foreign ministers also agreed to build a high-speed rail connection between Budapest and Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár) in Romania, the first such connection in the region, Szijjártó said. The Hungarian government has approved HUF 1 bln for a feasibility study for the project, and has no objection to a Romanian plan to extend the line to Bucharest, the minister was cited by MTI as saying.

The two governments have begun technical and legal preparations to make two of ten small temporary Romanian-Hungarian border crossings permanently open, Szijjártó revealed.

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