Hungary is joining forces with Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, and Türkiye to explore the technical opportunities for receiving natural gas from Azerbaijan via Southeast Europe's transmission infrastructure, Hungarian minister of foreign affairs and trade, Peter Szijjarto, said, Report informs, referring to the Hungarian press.
The countries will run a joint market test in the coming months after Hungary arrived at a political agreement with Azerbaijan to receive 1 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas this year, Szijjarto said at the Budapest LNG Summit on Monday. An agreement to enable joint efforts will be signed later this month, he added.
Szijjarto also said that Hungary is looking at a long-term contract to receive 2 bcm of natural gas per year from Azerbaijan, with pipelines in Southeast Europe key to transiting these deliveries.
"Therefore, we are pushing for the development of infrastructure in this region, because this is the only solution," Szijjarto noted, adding that an issue will be to secure financing for such projects, with the EU being reticent to invest further in pipeline construction.
Hungary has the necessary national infrastructure which is ready to receive LNG deliveries via the import terminal at the Croatian island of Krk, according to Szijjarto. However, the Croatian-Hungarian interconnector is capable of delivering 1.75 bcm in the direction of Hungary, which means that the country would be unable to take advantage of the planned increased capacity of the Krk terminal to 6 bcm unless Croatia raises the outgoing transmission capacity at its end.
In addition, the planned increase to 5 bcm from 3 bcm of the capacity of the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector (IGB) is also crucial for Hungary's and Central Europe's energy diversification. The IGB will provide Hungary with an opportunity to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the terminals in Greece and Türkiye, Szijjarto added.