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Serbia to consider MOL offer – minister

The Energy Ministry will discuss MOL’s initiative of forming an integrated gas distribution company.

„The Mining and Energy Ministry will consider the initiative which, in line with Serbia’s strategic interests, brings greater security to the gas supply and development of the gas infrastructure,” Energy Minister Aleksandar Popović told B92. He said that in recent talks with MOL officials, the possibility of increasing regional cooperation had been discussed, adding that the Hungarian company’s initiative was one proposal for effectuating this cooperation. Popović, however, could not give any more details as to the MOL initiative, since the ministry had not received any concrete proposals.

The Hungarian company stated that it planned to set up an integrated company for the distribution of natural gas which would do business throughout central and south-eastern Europe. Gas distribution companies from Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Romania, Bulgaria and Austria are being called on to participate in the talks, and other regional companies are welcome to participate in the initiative as well. „It is clear that the future lies in regional cooperation,” MOL Executive Director György Mosonyi said, adding that talks with all the interested parties, establishing a suitable legal basis and forming a company would last from one to two years. Mosonyi said that the natural gas market in the region was characterized by a lack of competition (because most gas comes from Russia), poor infrastructure and state efforts to keep the energy industry under its own control. (B92)