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Hungary eyes LNG imports from Italy via Slovenia

Hungary and Slovenia could apply jointly for European Union funding to connect their gas networks, allowing Hungary to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Italy, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told state news agency MTI on Saturday.

There is no pipeline that would allow the delivery of LNG from Italian ports to Hungary at present, Szijjártó noted, adding that such an investment would serve to diversify Hungaryʼs energy supply.

Talks are underway on the capacity of an interconnector between the gas networks of Hungary and Slovenia, the minister said. A preliminary survey of market players shows that Hungarian, West European and American companies would all be interested in buying capacity in such an interconnector, he added.

A decision on funding for the interconnector is expected to be taken by the European Council in the spring, Szijjártó said.

The construction of an LNG terminal in Croatia remains uncertain, and the prices at which Croatia wants to sell the gas are too high, the minister explained. Meanwhile, the timeframe for the start of deliveries of offshore gas from Romania extracted by ExxonMobil and OMV is also uncertain, which is why finding new sources of supply is justified, he added.