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Austrian-Hungarian expert group to review dispute on waste incinerator

A consulting body set up with the support of the Austrian and Hungarian governments decided on Tuesday to convene a group of experts from both countries to examine the issue of a waste incinerator planned to be built in Heiligenkreuz in Austria, near the Hungarian border.

Hungarian state secretary of the environment ministry Lajos Oláh, who represented Hungary at the talks, said the expert group will prepare all the possible scenarios for the project.

The group will take into consideration the energy production aspects of the waste incinerator project, as well as concerns that it may endanger the environment, tourism and agriculture in the region, Oláh said.

The Hungarian government wants to convince Austria at the talks that the waste incinerator should be built further away from the Hungarian border, he added.

Leopold Zahrer, state secretary of the Austrian environment ministry said his government intends to involve a representative of the affected Austrian construction company in the talks. He noted that the Austrian state has no legal means to stop construction or change the location.

Austrian gas distributor Burgerlandische Erdgasversorgung plans to start construction of the HUF 30bn facility, to be located close to the Hungarian town Szentgotthárd, yet this year and to complete the project in 2010. (MTI – Econews)