Hungary puts BRHA gas pipeline at risk. Find out what decision the Romanian authorities took…

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The gas transmission system operator in Hungary – FGSZ – took the European gas market by surprise recently when it announced it was no longer in a position to hold an open season on the Romanian-Hungarian-Austrian section of the BRHA pipeline, phase II.

Transgaz announced in a press release that it received a letter from FGSZ with respect to the binding open season procedure scheduled to be conducted for the allocation of the capacities related to the Romania –Hungary – Austria gas transmission corridor.

In this letter FGSZ brought to Romanian company’s officials attention that it cannot conduct the planned procedure because it did not receive the relevant approvals from the company’s Supervisory Committee because of economical efficiency issues. Instead, the Huingarian party suggested to conduct the binding open season procedure only for the

interconnection point RO – HU, whereby the 4.4 bcm/year coming from Romania to be distributed from Hungary to Slovakia, Ukraine, Croatia or Serbia. In parallel, FGSZ would continue discussions with the Austrian gas transmission system operator (Gas Connect) to further identify physical transmission possibilities from Hungary to Austria.

In this context, Transgaz notifies the shareholders and potential regional investors that, from the company’s perspective the objectives and projects the company has committed in respect of the development on Romania’s territory of the BRHA infrastructure shall remain unchanged.

“As far as Transgaz is concerned, the planning and conduct of the open season procedure will take into account all the proposed objectives of the BRHA corridor, including the assurance of its supply with the gas deemed to be produced in the Black Sea. Considering the importance of the BRHA project at national, regional and European level, Transgaz will act in such a manner as to ensure that the commencement of the commercial operation of this gas source is not affected in any way,” the release reads.

Romanian grid operator is committed and determined to act in order to timely and effectively implement this project, in accordance with EU objectives.

“This is a clear confirmation that Transgaz is rigorously adhering to European commitments and to infrastructure development programs, including in terms of ensuring the relevant export capacity,” the local grid operator concluded.

FGSZ noted the only ‘economically viable’ part of BRHA pipeline would be the existing Romania-Hungary interconnector, which could be expanded from its current capacity of 4.4 billion cubic metres (bcm) to 5.26bmc/year.

In its original form spearheaded by the EU, BRHA is expected to travel 582km south to north, linking Bulgaria to the central European Baumgarten hub in Austria.

According to FGSZ the gas could be exported to Slovakia, Ukraine, Serbia and Croatia. The capacities of the Slovak interconnector is 1.75bcm/year, the Ukrainian pipeline 6.10bcm/year, 4.81bcm/year for the Serbian connection and 2.62bcm/year for Croatia.

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