Hungary's PM Set to Talk Energy in Moscow End-January

January 4, 2013

Hungarian daily Nepszabadsag reported Friday that Hungary's prime minister is set to discuss energy issues with his Russian counterpart at the end of January, according to Dow Jones.

Preparations have been made for Viktor Orban's visit to Moscow and talks with Dmitry Medvedev about the Hungarian section of the planned South Stream natural gas pipeline.

Hungary relies on Russian natural gas and the talks may also deal with the transportation of Russian gas to Hungary, Nepszabadsag said. Russia is the only country that supplies gas to Hungary; in 2011, its gas exports totaled 6.26 billion cubic meters.

Hungary late last year signed a letter of intent to buy the Hungarian gas transport arm of German energy major E.ON SE and thus gained the opportunity to re-negotiate its gas transport contract--that expires in 2015--directly with Russia.

Talks could also involve the expansion of Hungary's only nuclear plant MVM Paksi Atomeromu Zrt. A tender to expand the plant was delayed from the planned tender call in late 2011. It is likely that a Russian company will bid for the project with an estimated investment of 2 trillion-4 trillion Hungarian forints ($9.03 billion-$18.06 billion).

A government official said details of Mr. Orban's trip would be made available nearer the time, state news agency MTI reports.

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