Economy Minister János Kóka will contact E.On's management in Hungary and Gazprom as a new shareholder of E.On's Hungarian businesses immediately to ask for information about Gazprom's strategy regarding the Hungarian energy market, Kóka told MTI on Thursday.
As reported earlier in the day, Russia's Gazprom and Germany's E.On signed an agreement which will give Gazprom 50% minus one share stakes in E.On's Hungarian gas companies E.ON Földgáz Storage and E.ON Földgáz Trade, a 25% plus one share stake in regional electricity and gas supplier E.ON Hungária, and compensation yet to be named in exchange for a 25% minus one share stake in Siberia's Yuzhno Russkoye gas field, one of the world's biggest. E.ON and Gazprom also agreed to work together on specific gas-fired power station projects in Europe.
Kóka said after the deal was announced that Hungary supports every initiative that increases the security of Hungary's gas supply and provides cheaper and more secure supplies to households despite rising energy prices. “We have started a general cooperation with Gazprom to strengthen the security of Hungarian gas supply and in order to increase our weight on the European energy market. Thanks to intense efforts of the past months, the Russian partner plans to build out its new international supply capacities with Hungarian participation and also could conceive of its Central European gas storage facility in Hungary. This would give consumers security of supply and would generate transit revenues for the central budget,” Kóka said.
He noted that the European Commission and Hungarian authorities will look into the competition policy and energy policy aspects of the transaction. He said the issue of a secure energy supply would be on the next meeting of the Russian-Hungarian intergovernmental committee in autumn.
E.ON and Gazprom plan to conclude a detailed agreement on the exchange of assets by the end of the year, according to press reports. E.ON bought two of the affected Hungarian units, E.ON Földgáz Storage and E.ON Földgáz Trade, from Hungary's Mol Rt at the end of March 2006.