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Govʼt aids MOL, Audi, Szeged uni R&D partnership with HUF 4 bln

The government is supporting a research partnership between oil and gas company MOL, the local unit of German carmaker Audi and the University of Szeged with a HUF 4 billion grant, Innovation and Technology Minister László Palkovics said in Szeged (about 162 km southeast of the capital) last weekend, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

László Palkovics at an earlier press conference (Photo by Endre Véssey/ITM)

The grant will support the establishment of a research center, dubbed the Sustainable Green Chemical and Mobility Competency Centre, in the Szeged Science Park, Palkovics said. The center will offer partners in industry the latest infrastructure for conducting basic and applied research on crude oil and oil derivatives, he added.

The center is expected to be set up by the end of 2022.

University of Szeged rector László Rovó said the center will focus on developing technologies to boost the extraction rate from oil fields. It will also research devices that can more accurately measure the emissions of internal combustion engines, he added.

MOL chairman-CEO Zsolt Hernádi noted that extraction rates from oil fields at present stand at just 20-30%, but said new technologies could double that proportion. He added that most vehicles will be powered by fossil fuels for the coming 20-30 years.

Hernádi said the research center would operate with a staff of about 30 who would also work to develop new types of fuels.

Zoltán Les, who heads vehicle production at Audi Hungaria, said the carmaker is supporting the development of photoacoustic devices that can better measure emissions.

He said Audi Hungaria already has a partnership with the Széchenyi István University of Győr (about 108 km northwest of the capital) to test cleaner-burning diesel and petrol fuels developed by MOL in the engines produced at its plant in Győr.