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Budapest conference to focus on financing for Nabucco

  Arranging pre-financing for the Nabucco project will be one of the main aims of a conference on the gas pipeline to take place in Budapest next week, Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány told MTI on Friday.

“For those of us who consider it more important to build the Nabucco pipeline, we must do more [to ensure its realization],” Mr Gyurcsány said.

Gyurcsány said that the project was not simply a business venture but about the whole of Europe’s energy security, and therefore funding by the European Union and its background institutions was needed. This also means financing from Europe’s big financial institutions, including the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, he said.

“These institutions will represent themselves at the Budapest Nabucco summit. We expect them to commit themselves to participating in the pre-financing in a more unequivocal way,” said Gyurcsány. There is a real chance this year of successfully securing the financing and starting construction next year if the EU considers the conditions sufficiently favorable, he added.

The estimated cost of the project to build 3,300 kilometers of pipeline has risen from €4.5-5 billion to almost €8 billion today.

The thorniest issue concerns who will supply the gas, the prime minister said. Azerbaijan has not yet given a definite yes, while Iran, which has the most significant reserves, is in a delicate position for regional and geopolitical reasons. Turkmenistan has reservations about the delivery route.

“Supplies of exclusively Azerbaijani gas for the future Nabucco pipeline does not appear to be a solution which offers a hundred-percent guarantee; there is a need for further partner countries from the region,” he said.

He said Europe and its member states should regard their relations in terms of gas supply in more complex terms than a simple client-supplier relationship.

“If we are just buyers then our position is one of reliance. If we deliver technology and know how to these countries, we will be more desirable partners,” he said. (MTI-Econews)