Slovakia and Hungary Ink Memorandum on Eastring Project in Kosice

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Economy Minister Peter Ziga (right) and Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto inking a Memorandum of Understanding on the Eastring project in Kosice (photo taken from the Economy Ministry's website)

Kosice, October 30 (TASR) – Economy Minister Peter Ziga (Smer-SD) and Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Eastring gas pipeline project in Kosice on Monday, TASR learnt on the same day.

According to the Economy Ministry, Slovakia has been pushing for the implementation of the Eastring project for a long time. It should contribute towards strengthening energy security in central and south-eastern Europe and diversifying gas supplies to Europe.

“It’s very important for Slovakia and Hungary to have secure supplies of energy resources and energy raw materials, while gas is among the most expensive. That’s why the diversification of routes and resources, which Slovakia and Hungary need, is based on creating other possible routes apart from those that lead from the Russian Federation via Ukraine, for example, to Slovakia or Hungary,” said Ziga, adding that the inking of the memorandum means political support for the project at the highest level.

“Hungary and Slovakia have a good capacity for providing energy security to central Europe. We have around seven billion cubic metres of gas storage capacity. We have a very well-built pipeline system. All this allows us to distribute gas flowing to our country from the south further on to the west, north or any other direction,” said Szijjarto.

According to the Slovak Economy Ministry, in order for the project to be successful, support is needed among governments, transmission system operators and regulators. Bulgaria was the first to express such support when the country signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Slovakia in July 2016. A similar memorandum was signed between gas operators Slovak Eustream and Bulgartransgaz in June 2016.

The dual direction Eastring pipeline is a joint project for Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary with a planned capacity hovering at around 20-40 billion cubic metres of gas per year.