Diversifying Hungary’s gas supplies is crucial for national security and in terms of national strategic considerations, too, Péter Szijjártó, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, said at the inauguration of the new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Omisalj, on Croatia’s Krk island, on Friday.
The security of energy supplies “has always been a crucial issue” in central Europe “party due to an inherited infrastructure and partly because of historical reasons,” Szijjártó said, adding that the terminal was “an important milestone in the common history of Croatia and Hungary”.
Szijjártó also called completion of a south-north energy supply route “crucial for the region”, with special regard to “gas, the most important fuel”. “The region has not had an opportunity before to buy large quantities of liquefied gas cheaply and with reasonable conditions attached,” he said, noting that there had in fact been “only one source to buy gas from” in the past 70 years.
Hungary will buy an annual 1 billion cubic metres of gas through the new facility for the next seven years, the minister said, adding that the order made Hungary the terminal’s “largest client”.
He also noted that Hungary’s agreement with Shell was the first long-term gas purchase deal with a western company “in Hungary’s energy history”. Under that agreement, Hungary will receive an annual 250 million cubic metres of gas through Krk for the next seven years.
“It’s good news that we have just received the first shipment,” Szijjártó said, adding that he was proud of the fact that “the first ship arriving at the terminal transported a Hungarian order of liquefied gas.”
Szijjártó praised the Croatian government for its timely completion of the terminal despite the coronavirus epidemic and the recent earthquake that hit the country.
Szijjártó was scheduled to have talks with Tomislav Coric, Croatia’s economy and development minister, later in the day.
Featured photo by Balázs Mohai/MTI