Testing period extended on Hungary-Slovakia gas link

Energy Trade

The testing period for the new gas pipeline connecting Hungary and Slovakia has been extended until May 31, Slovak pipeline operator Eustream said. During the testing phase, the pipeline operators are offering 50,000 megawatt hours per day entry and exit capacities to Hungary on a first come-first serve basis, Eustream said in a statement. 

Aimed at widening options for gas flows in central Europe, make the region more resilient to potential disruptions of Russian gas supplies via Ukraine, and ease reverse-flow gas supplies to Ukraine, the interconnector pipeline has suffered a number of delays.

Officially inaugurated by the prime ministers of Hungary and Slovakia more than a year ago, and cleared by the European Commission int the middle of March this year, the €150 mln Hungarian-Slovakian interconnector runs for 111 kilometers and was set to start commercial operation in early 2015.

It has a capacity of about 4 billion cubic meters a year in the Slovak-Hungarian direction and a capacity of about 1.6 billion cubic meters annually in the opposite direction. The test run was originally scheduled to last from March 10 to April 30.

At the end of last year, Hungaryʼs foreign minister suggested that that as soon as the Hungarian-Slovak interconnector pipeline starts commercial operation, Hungary will once again have the opportunity to supply natural gas to Ukraine also from non-Russian sources.

Hungary renewed gas supplies to Ukraine in January after a suspension of more than three months, but early April Ukraine slashed its reverse-flow gas imports from the West through Hungary following an agreement with Russia that cut prices.

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