PLINACRO and FGSZ Natural Gas Transmission have signed a JDA on the realisation of interconnection pipeline between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Hungary

Joint Development Agreement on realisation of the interconnection pipeline between Hungarian Városfold and Croatian Slobodnica was signed today between Plinacro – Croatian gas transmission system operator and FGSZ - Natural Gas Transmission (member of MOL group). The Agreement was signed by Mr Branko Radošević, Plinacro’s President of the Board and János Zsuga, the Chief Executive Officer and István Keresztesi, the Director of System Operations of Hungarian gas transmission system operator. The aforementioned project is to connect gas transmission systems of the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Hungary in 2010.
Board member Ms Dragica Krpan and the director of Development Sector Mr Goran Frančić were present at the signing.
The signing of the binding Joint Development Agreement on the interconnection pipeline Slobodnica–Donji Miholjac–Dravaszerdahely–Bata–Városfold is a historical moment for Croatia’s energetic future since, once the project has been completed in 2010, the Republic of Croatia shall ensure a new supply route of natural gas - after more than 30 years and for the first time since its independence.
Before realisation of the project aimed at interconnecting Croatian and Hungarian pipeline systems, the importation of natural gas in Croatia will be possible only through the interstate connection pipeline Rogatec–Zagreb that started operating back in July 1978 and connects Slovakia, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia.
Interconnection pipeline Croatia–Hungary is an integral part and the most important project of the Plan of development, construction and modernization of gas transmission system in the Republic of Croatia until 2011. On the Croatian side, the project includes pipelines Slobodnica–Beničanci–Donji Miholjac and Donji Miholjac–Dravaszerdahely of total length 88 km, whereas on the Hungarian side it includes pipeline Dravaszerdahely–Bata–Városfold of total length 210 km. It is to be built as a single pipeline with the following qualities: DN 800/75 bar, capacity of 6.5 bmc/y, working pressure of 75 bar and a possibility of reversal gas flow under the same conditions. The deadline to complete the interconnection is by the end of 2010, the total value of the project is estimated at 395 million EURO.
The signing of the binding Joint Development Agreement aimed at interconnecting pipeline systems is part of a successful cooperation between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Hungary as well as a result of elaborate joint technical preparations by Plinacro and the Hungarian partner with whom a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2007 regarding a framework agreement on the realisation of this project after which a detailed technical adjustment followed. July 3, 2008 a Letter of Intent was signed in Zagreb between Plinacro and FGSZ Natural Gas Transmission regarding the realisation of interconnection of Varosfold–Slobodnica. Immediately after that both companies started working on the Joint Development Agreement aimed at realisation of interconnection pipeline that was finally agreed by the end of 2008.
It is worth mentioning that realisation of the interconnection pipeline Croatia–Hungary is extremely important not only for both partners at the project – the companies Plinacro and FGSZ, i.e. for the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Hungary – but also for the European Union. Once the project has been completed, the Republic of Croatia will be able to use the mentioned interconnection, including the related storage capacities, not only as a new supply route for natural gas, but also to connect to potential international pipeline projects such as Nabucco, Blue Stream and South Stream.
It will also allow the Republic of Hungary and the European Union a reverse supply route – from Croatia to Hungary, especially once the LNG terminal has been built. It is precisely due to this fact that the European Commission has included Croatian–Hungarian interconnection pipeline in strategically important energetic projects.