Hungary and Serbia plan to strengthen energy ties in order to ensure a 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 to invest in renewable energy sources. One of the discussed projects is pumped storage hydropower plant Bistrica.
Mali and Szijjártó also agreed 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 Serbia would be able to use a 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 in two storage units is planned to start by the end of June. From October, Serbia will be able to withdraw 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 intend to build a new power line, and that the details would be defined in the coming days. The new transmission link will enable Serbia and Hungary to send surplus energy to each other, he added, while Szijjártó estimated it would take six to eight years to complete the investment.
Mali also said Serbia and Hungary plan to jointly procure electricity on the international market in order to achieve a better price. He talked to Szijjártó about strengthening the cooperation between the two countries’ government-controlled power utilities MVM and EPS, and revealed that representatives of the Hungarian company should come to Belgrade next week.
The two sides also discussed joint investment in Bistrica and in renewable energy projects, he added.
Szijjártó: We must pay more attention to each other
Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said the insecurity caused by the war in Ukraine increased the importance of cooperation between the two countries.
Hungary and Serbia have agreed to pay more attention to each other at a time when energy supply has been disrupted and to guarantee each other’s supply lines, Szijjártó said.
He noted Hungary receives 10 million cubic meters of gas a day through the South Stream gas pipeline, which passes through Serbia, and that it is very significant for his country.