The European Commission supports BRUA pipeline in spite of Hungary’s FGSZ statements

Aurel Dragan 29/06/2018 | 12:49

BRUA gas pipeline is still supported by the European Commission, not matter what the Hungarians have to say about it. According to the declaration made nu Miguel Arias Canete, European Energy commissioner at an energy summit in Sofia, Bulgaria, any problems with the Hungarian side must be resolved in a smart because there is a need of cooperation in the area in order to secure the gas supply.

The statement comes in the context in which the Hungarian side decided to unilaterally modify the BRUA project, arguing that there is no need for a pipeline between Hungary and Austria, as the existing infrastructure on the Hungary-Slovakia-Austria route can be used for transport, cited by Agerpress.

“Today we see that the start of the construction of the Romanian section of the Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria corridor. As you know, the European Commission finances decisively to this project and I am pleased to note that Romania is progressing very well with the actual implementation of the project, so that it will become operational by the end of 2019,” said the European Commissioner.

He reinforced the idea that BRUA is a strategic project of common interest extremely important to diversify the sources of natural gas, which will increase competition and will lead to lower prices, congratulating Romania for the progress made.

“Romania is doing a great job. Strengthening the infrastructure in Romania is a prerequisite for the BRUA corridor and we have seen what effort is needed to build such an infrastructure, but the benefits are enormous, in order to diversify supply routes and increase security and, at the same time, increase competition, with obvious positive effects. For these reasons, the Commission has supported this project from the start,” said Canete.

He reminded that the EU has granted a EUR 179 million for the construction of the pipeline.

“We expect this project to go further according to the agreed timetable and to be finalized next year. I hope this will be an example for the rest of the participants and the problems that we have now between Hungary and the rest of the project participants will be solved in a smarter way, ” said Canete.

The region of Central and Easter Europe is the most disrupted in gas supply and the prices are higher than in the Western European countries, despite the geographical proximity of the main supplier, Russia. That is why cooperation between all the countries in the region is needed to increase the living standards of the citizens here, the European official stressed.

The Commissioner also presented some slides in which the BRUA pipeline map appeared as the project was initially agreed, as a gas pipeline linking Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. According to the agenda of the Sofia event, a symbolic ceremony will also be held to mark the start of the BRUA project.

Two days ago, at a press conference organized by the company in Bucharest, Kristof Terhes, CEO of FGSZ, the Hungarian gas carrier, said the modification of the BRUA project would bring Romania a billion dollars and would not mean that Hungary will put a plug in the pipeline that will transport the Black Sea gas to Western Europe.

FGSZ officials said that they had organized a press conference in Bucharest to clarify some erroneous information in the press about Hungary’s interest in the gas from the Black Sea.

At the same time, however, the company’s CEO was visibly disturbed by the questions of the Romanian journalists who wanted to find out why the Hungarian side changed its mind about its role in the BRUA project, after deciding not to build a gas pipeline between Hungary and Austria.

“What does it mean we have changed our minds, that we have put a plug between Romania and Hungary in a pipeline, and do not let the gas go through and lose income? What do we mean we have changed our minds, what have we changed the benefits for you because your producer would use less money in Romania, because it does not have to spend another billion dollars on a new pipeline, since there is infrastructure already in. We have made ypu a great favor, I have given you a billion US dollars,” said Terhes.

He also said that Romania doesn’t have a use for the entire Black Sea gas production and exports to the north or south are not feasible, so the gas will reach Western Europe through Hungary.

“It’s simply too much for the domestic necessity of the country. You do not have a petrochemical industry, you can not use natural gas as raw material. What will you do with the gas, burn it, make a big fire?” Terhes ironically added.

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