A Croatian-Hungarian gas interconnector has been put into operation
A gas interconnector between Croatia and Hungary was put into operation on 3 August. This is the first completed element of the North-South gas corridor, which envisages connecting the Świnoujście LNG terminal in Poland via the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary with the Adria LNG terminal in Croatia. At the present stage, the interconnector is of local significance and will primarily significantly improve the energy security of Croatia.
The 293 km long interconnector between Croatia’s Slobodnica and Hungary’s Városföld has an annual capacity of 6.5 billion m3. Gas can be transported in both directions. The interconnector is operated by the Croatian state-controlled gas operator, Plinacro, and Hungary’s Földgázszállító, a company controlled by MOL. The construction of the interconnector was co-financed by the EU as part of the European Economic Recovery Plan. The investment value totalled 395 million euros.
At the present stage, the interconnector will primarily contribute to improving the energy security of Croatia, which has had only one interconnector with Slovenia thus far, and will be used for supplying approximately 1 billion m3 of natural gas annually to Croatia (the suppliers being ENI and E.ON). This has allowed Croatia to withdraw completely from gas supplies offered by Russian firms. This interconnector has a smaller impact on the energy security of Hungary, which already has connections with Ukraine, Austria and Romania. Nevertheless, it will strengthen Hungary’s position as a local gas hub and will allow it to maximise profits from gas transfer and the operation of gas storage facilities.
In the long term, the significance of the interconnector may grow in connection with plans to build an LNG terminal on the Croatian island of Krk. The interconnector would then become an essential part of the new route of gas supplies to Central Europe (as part of the North-South gas corridor concept). <dab>