Szijjarto Reiterates Hungary’s Interest in LNG Terminal Project

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, March 5, 2020 – Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said on Thursday that Hungary wanted to participate in the LNG terminal project on the northern Adriatic island of Krk, expressing hope that Croatian Environment and Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić would soon convene a working group on Croatia’s part.

Asked by reporters if there had been any progress with regard to Hungary’s participation in the LNG terminal project, Szijjarto said that Hungary considered its energy cooperation with Croatia as “a game changer in the region.” He said that there had been a lot of talk about diversification of energy supply routes but that nothing had really happened in that regard in the entire region.

Hungary sees the LNG terminal on Krk island as a huge opportunity for Hungary, for Croatia and for the entire region, Szijjarto said after signing a statement of intent with Croatian Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković to boost economic cooperation and transport ties between the two countries’ border areas.

He said that Hungary had put forward a three-point proposal to Croatia.

First, to connect and combine the gas delivery networks of the two countries, which would eliminate the border crossing fees and make gas supply cheaper for both countries.

Second, to start together negotiations with external partners on gas deliveries to the terminal, primarily with Egypt, Qatar, Australia and the United States.

And third, Hungary is ready to buy a stake in the LNG terminal and Croatia should say what would be an acceptable size, because the terminal is Croatian.

“This is a comprehensive proposal from our side, for which we have a working group. I hope that Minister Ćorić will be ready to convene a working group on the Croatian side as well, as soon as possible,” Szijjarto said.

Emphasising the importance of this project, he said that it has “a game-changing significance from our perspective because currently, when it comes to diversification of sources, this is the only viable solution for the upcoming years.”

The value of the floating LNG terminal is estimated at €234 million. The European Commission has granted €101.4 million for the construction of the LNG terminal given that the project is included on the European Commission’s list of projects of common interest.

Hungary made an offer to buy a 25% stake in the LNG terminal in 2018.

The Croatian government decided in early 2018 to allocate €100 million for the project, notably €50 million in 2019 and €50 million in 2020. The remaining €32.6 million would be provided by the founders of the LNG Croatia company – the electricity provider HEP and the natural gas supplier Plinacro.

More energy news can be found in the Business section.


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