Hungary and Serbia agree to improve energy cooperation
Hungary and Serbia plan to strengthen their energy relations to ensure stable energy supply and achieve energy security during the energy crisis, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó and Serbian Finance Minister Siniša Mali said after a meeting in Budapest.
The two countries plan to build a new power line, jointly procure electricity and strengthen cooperation between state-owned energy companies MVM and Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS), as well as invest in renewable energy sources. One of the projects discussed is the Bistrica pumped storage hydroelectric plant.
Mali and Szijjártó also agreed that Serbia would store 500 million cubic meters of gas in Hungary for use during the winter.
Serbia will be able to use Hungarian gas storage facilities
Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó pointed out that Serbia would be able to use part of his country’s gas storage. Hungary has a total capacity of six billion cubic meters.
According to Finance Minister Siniša Mali, the injection of gas into two storage units should start at the end of June. From October, Serbia will be able to take three million cubic meters per day, then from November to February six million, and in March three million cubic meters per day, he said.
Mali: A new transmission line will allow the two countries to exchange surplus electricity
He said the two countries intended to build a new power line and the details would be worked out in the coming days. The new transmission link will allow Serbia and Hungary to exchange excess energy, he added, while Szijjártó estimated that it would take six to eight years to complete the investment.
Mali also said that Serbia and Hungary plan to jointly source electricity from the international market to get a better price. He spoke to Szijjártó about strengthening cooperation between the government-controlled electricity utilities of the two countries, MVM and EPS, and revealed that representatives of the Hungarian company are expected to come to Belgrade next week.
The two sides also discussed joint investments in Bistrica and in renewable energy projects, he added.
Szijjártó: We need to pay more attention to each other
Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said the insecurity caused by the war in Ukraine increases the importance of cooperation between the two countries.
Hungary and Serbia have agreed to pay more attention to each other at a time when the energy supply has been interrupted and to mutually guarantee their supply lines, Szijjártó said.
He noted that Hungary receives 10 million cubic meters of gas per day through the South Stream gas pipeline, which crosses Serbia, and that this is very important for his country.