The Hungarian and Serbian sections of a pipeline connecting the countries’ gas networks were welded together near Horgos (Horgoš) on Sunday, reported Hungarian News Agency, MTI. As a result, the two countries’ high-pressure natural gas pipeline systems were physically connected, reaching a symbolic point in the construction of the interconnector project.
Szabolcs I. Ferencz, Chairman of the Board and CEO of FGSZ Földgázszállító, Hungary’s transmission system operator said that according to the plans, the project will be completed by 1 October, which will enable Hungary to receive a significant amount of natural gas from the direction of Serbia. Mr Ferencz emphasised that the investment is crucial for Hungary’s security of supply and the diversification of its supply routes.
FGSZ will build about 15 kilometres of pipeline from the Hungarian-Serbian border to Kiskundorozsma and will also set up an international metering station.
Mr Ferencz explained that the interconnection on the Serbian border is the sixth entry point of the Hungarian high-pressure natural gas transmission system, allowing traders to choose where they want to buy natural gas most securely and at the most competitive price.
The development on the Hungarian side will cost around 20 billion Hungarian forints (56.9 million euros) and the total cost including finishing work planned for next year will amount to 23 billion Hungarian forints (65 million euros). Any further expansion of the southern entry point capacity will depend on the outcome of subsequent results of a market-based capacity expansion procedure.
Dušan Bajatović, head of the Serbian-Russian-owned Gastrans said the pipeline, leading from Turkey via Bulgaria and Serbia to the Hungarian border, will have the capacity to transport 15.7 billion cubic metres of gas arriving from the Black Sea to Central Europe.
He added that during the implementation, many technical and regulatory issues had to be resolved, meeting the requirements of both national and European authorities. Mr Bajatović underlined that the 403-kilometre Serbian section of the pipeline has been completed and a compressor station is currently being built in Serbia and Bulgaria.