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Szijjarto: Increase in electricity imports can reduce natural gas consumption

Natural gas plays a crucial role in Hungary's energy supply, but one way to reduce this dependency is by increasing electricity imports, which the government is working on, the minister of foreign affairs and trade said in Slovenia's Cirkovce on Friday.

One of the most oft-repeated words in the European debates on energy is “diversification”, which to Hungary means procuring as many types of energy sources from as many resources and via as many routes as possible, a foreign ministry statement cited Peter Szijjarto as saying.

Hungary has therefore launched two critical projects aimed at guaranteeing the country’s long-term electricity security, Szijjarto said.

He welcomed the successful completion of one such project with the linking of Hungary and Slovenia’s electrical grids.

The second one entails the supply of green electricity to Hungary from Azerbaijan via Georgia and Romania, the minister said, adding that the agreement on the transmissions will be signed in Bucharest in two weeks’ time.

“This will not only boost the security of our energy supply but also allow us to consider environmental protection aspects and maintain Hungary’s lead position when it comes to responsible, eco-friendly energy consumption,” Szijjarto said.

Hungary’s import and consumption of electricity will now become more secure and balanced, he added.

Szijjarto noted that Slovenia was the only one of Hungary’s seven neighbours with which it had yet to link its gas supply network.

“I have to say that this hasn’t been and isn’t up to us,” Szijjarto said. “We’ve initiated this several times.”

Slovenia’s past governments “did not support these plans that much” but it appears that the country is now more “politically receptive” to them, Szijjarto said. He added that there “isn’t really a point in building these pipelines under a capacity of about 2 billion cubic metres”.

Orbán: Hungary-Slovenia energy link ‘symbol of hope for the future’

The linking of Hungary and Slovenia’s energy infrastructures is a symbol of the two peoples’ hope for the future, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at a ceremony marking completion of the construction of the cross-border Cirkovce-Pince electrical transmission line, in Cirkovce.

Hungarians and the peoples living on the territory of the former Yugoslavia used to be cut off from each other, the prime minister said. Hungarians therefore built all of their links in an East-West context, whether it be gas, oil or electricity, he added.

This separation remained after the breakup of Yugoslavia, making Slovenia the only one of Hungary’s neighbours with whom it had not had its gas, oil or electrical grids linked, Orbán added.


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