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Hungary to build EUR 1 bln green-powered town from scratch

Hungary is planning to create a EUR 1 billion green-powered town with jobs and housing for thousands on a barren strip of Danube flood plain, according to international news agency Bloomberg.

The EUR 1 billion Hegyeshalom-Bezenye project (based 171 km northwest of Budapest) will be the size of about 500 soccer pitches and have full amenities such as schools and shopping facilities, said co-developers E.ON SE and German property company FAKT AG.

Vegetables will be grown under glass where scrubland is today. The carbon-neutral town will draw mainly on solar and biogas power and will create as many as 5,000 permanent jobs in the greenhouse venture, Nikolai Ulrich, a board member of FAKT, told Bloomberg by telephone.

The property company is partnering with electric utility company E.ON, construction firm the KÉSZ Group and the Hungarian government on the venture. When complete, Hegyeshalom-Bezenye will include about 1,000 homes, a restaurant, hotel, railway station, and shopping facilities, as well as schools and training units.

The project embeds a sustainable water management policy that aims to avoid lowering the area’s water table, explained Ulrich. Cooling will be supplied via geothermal plants, he added.

As well as boosting Hungary’s supply of tomatoes, peppers and aubergines, the site will host Europe’s largest inland fishery, cultivating salmon, bass and sea bream, Ulrich said.