Gov't declares energy 'state of emergency', announces measures

Government

Hungary's government has decided to declare an energy "state of emergency", Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister's Office, said at a press briefing following a meeting of cabinet leaders on Wednesday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Gulyás noted that market gas and electricity prices have risen by a factor of 5-6 and said there is a "high probability" there won't be enough gas in Europe for the winter months, then outlined seven measures the government has decided to take to manage the situation.

From August 1, Hungary's regulated utility price scheme for households will apply only to electricity and gas consumption up to the national average, while market prices will apply to consumption over the average, he said.

He claimed that three-fourths of households consume less than the 210/kWh monthly average for electricity and the 144 cubic meters monthly average for gas.

Gulyás said the government has also decided to raise domestic gas production from an annual 1.5 bln to 2 bln cubic meters by adopting dearer extraction technology, it has mandated Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjártó to procure more gas, and it will introduce an export ban for energy, including firewood.

The government will step up lignite extraction "to the greatest degree possible" and restart blocks at the Mátra power plant, he added.

He reiterated that the government will apply for an extension of the lifespan of the existing blocks at the Paks nuclear power plant.

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