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Bratislava sees future for Slovakia-Hungary pipeline

Plans to build a gas pipeline between Slovakia and Hungary are feasible, Jan Petrovic, head of the energy department at Slovakia's Economy and Building Affairs Ministry, told journalists in Bratislava on Tuesday.

Petrovic said the Czech Republic and Poland, as well as the European Commission, support the construction of the pipeline.

“The Hungarians did not unequivocally back the continuation of the project after assessing the results of the first open season [capacity sale] phase. But talks are continuing and we are weighing all of the possibilities. I am sure that the project will be implemented in the foreseeable future,” he said. “The Hungarians did not say they were not interest in the project in the course of negotiations,” he added.

On the basis of a market assessment of use of capacity in the first phase of the pipeline, companies from six countries signaled long-term interest in buying about 20 billion cubic meters of annual capacity in the pipeline on the Slovakian side, but “the preliminary daily reserved capacity was a maximum 6.8m cubic meters,” said Eustream spokesperson Danica Beharkova. “Most interest was for the period after 2015,” she added.

Hungarian gas distributor FGSz Földgázszállító told MTI the construction of the pipeline had not be halted as the investment had not event begun. The construction of the pipeline continues to be important as it allows Hungary access to liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in Poland as well as other sources of supply, the company added.

The 20km of the pipeline in Slovakia would cost about €20 million to build. The 95km on the Hungarian side would costs about €100 million. The European Union has already promised €30 million in support for the interconnector. (MTI-Econews)