The Hungarian government has declared a state of emergency due to the energy crisis. In an effort to combat the many challenges faced by Hungarian families and the country’s economy, Gergely Gulyás, the minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office announced a 7-point action plan to prepare the country for upcoming challenges and defend the utility cost reduction program.
First, domestic natural gas production will be increased to 2 billion cubic metres (bcm) from the current 1.5 bcm capacity. Second, the government tasked Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó with securing additional gas supply sources in order to decrease Hungary’s energy dependence. The foreign minister said most of the gas flows would be shifted to the southern delivery route. He pointed out that Hungary imports roughly 30 million cubic metres (mcm) of gas each day, more than half of which is delivered via the southern route passing through Turkey, Bulgaria and Serbia. Thus, the government has decided to increase Hungary’s gas imports beyond the volume specified in the country’s long-term gas purchase agreements. The extra gas will be stored in Hungary’s gas reservoirs for the heating season, which currently stand at 36 per cent. Indeed, as also underlined by Finance Minister Mihály Varga filling up natural gas reserves will be key in the coming months.
The third point of the action plan concerns an export ban on energy carriers and firewood that has been implemented. Fourth, the government will adopt measures to boost domestic lignite production and (fifth point) the Mátra power plant will be relaunched as soon as possible.
The sixth point concert nuclear energy and the extension of the Paks nuclear power plant. At the beginning of July, Minister Szijjártó announced that all pending issues were clarified, which were necessary for Russia’s nuclear giant Rosatom to submit all permit applications to the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority. After its approval, the construction phase can begin in September.
Finally, those who consume above the average energy consumption level will pay the market price for their extra consumption.