Hungary and Serbia plan to double their cross-border power interconnection capacity and exchange, according to Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó.
Increasing the interconnection capacity will enable electricity balancing between the two countries, Serbian Mining and Energy Minister Aleksandar Antić said following a meeting with Szijjártó in Budapest.
Hungary has a strong nuclear power sector and large energy producers, including renewables, while Serbia has significant thermal and hydropower capacities, Antić explained.
Hungary could export electricity to Serbia from the Paks nuclear power plant
According to Szijjarto, Hungary could export surplus electricity produced at its Paks nuclear power plant to Serbia, while importing energy from Serbia’s hydropower plants.
Hungary’s state-owned electricity producer MVM-Magyar signed memoranda of understanding with Serbian power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) and natural gas company Srbijagas, with Antić saying that EPS and MVM could work on joint projects in the region.
Szijjártó and Antić also discussed the planned merger between the Hungarian Power Exchange (HUPX) and the Serbian South East European Power Exchange (SEEPEX), a move that envisages the creation of a strong cross-regional power exchange in the Central and South Eastern European region, while maintaining a steady link to the European Power Exchange (EPEX SPOT).
Hungary expects to start receiving TurkStream’s gas from Serbia in 2021
At a press conference following the talks with Antić, Szijjártó said that Hungary expects to start receiving natural gas from Serbia in 2021, delivered via Bulgaria from Russian Gazprom’s pipeline TurkStream. Szijjártó also said that Hungary could expand the gas interconnection with Serbia if local demand should exceed the planned 6 billion cubic meters a year, news agencies reported.
According to Antić, the Serbian section of the pipeline will be completed by the end of this year and Serbia will then be ready to receive gas from Bulgaria and deliver it to Hungary.
TurkStream is designed to supply gas from Russia to Turkey across the Black Sea, which would then be delivered to Europe via Bulgaria, Serbia, and Hungary, according to reports.