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FGSz completes HUF 9 billion stretch of Hungary-Romania gas pipeline

The Hungarian part of a gas pipeline between Hungary and Romania has been completed at a cost of about HUF 9 billion, gas distributor FGSz Földgázszállító, which owns and operates the pipeline with Romanian peer Transgaz, told MTI.

The pipeline, with a capacity of 500,000 cubic meters per hour, runs from the Hungarian city of Szeged to Arad, in Romania. It is expected to start operating this year.

The 47-kilometre stretch of the pipeline in Hungary is set for test operation, but the section crossing the border has not been built yet for lack of the necessary inter-government agreement.

FGSz, a unit of oil and gas company MOL, signed an agreement with Transgaz to connect their gas networks in the summer of 2008, with each company financing the cost of construction in their own country.

Transgaz has built 37 kilometers of the 62-kilometer stretch of the pipeline in Romania. The stretch is expected to cost €12 million - €14 million.

The project was awarded €30 million in European Union support, but work was so far advanced when the grant tender was announced that the entire amount could not be called down. FGSz expects to receive €8.33 million and Transgaz €8.28 million in EU support for the project based on talks with EU officials.

The pipeline will bring gas from Hungary to Romania at the start, but it is also capable of bringing gas in the opposite direction.

The pipeline is part of NETS (New Europe Transmission System), an initiative by MOL to connect the gas networks of countries in the region. (MTI-Econews)