Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said on Facebook on Tuesday that representatives of Hungary and Slovenia have finalized a cooperation agreement under which “construction of a natural gas interconnector has been granted the green light”.
The minister noted that Slovenia has so far been Hungary’s only neighbor without a link between the two countries’ gas networks. The new interconnector will have a capacity of 440 million cubic metres, allowing for supplies via the Italy-Slovenia-Hungary gas corridor, the minister said, adding that the new facility would mark “another crucial step towards Hungary’s energy security”. The finalised agreement will be signed in Budapest in early October. Hungary and Slovenia have also strengthened their cooperation in the area of nuclear energy, and voiced support for that “sustainable, cheap, and safe way for producing electricity”, Minister Szijjártó said, adding that Slovenia, similarly to Hungary, would expand the lifespan of its nuclear plant and increase its capacity. He said the parties at his talks in Slovenia had seen eye to eye concerning major issues around creating a regional electricity exchange, adding that a Hungarian-Serbian-Slovenian initiative could be launched early next year.
The minister also confirmed that Slovenia’a Andrada Group will build a battery recycling plant using “the world’s latest technology” at Alsózsolca, in northern Hungary. The foreign ministry quoted Minister Szijjártó as saying that the new plant would ensure that “electric batteries will be produced in Hungary without any impact on the environment … with the recycling of batteries also ensured.” According to the minister, Andrada “observes environmental regulations four times as stringent as those enforced in Hungary.” He added that the new technology was Andrada’s own, and that it was aimed at “making battery production circular, saving the environment from any waste”. He also added that the new technology would be first applied at Alsózsolca. The new plant, to be built at a cost of 10 billion forints (EUR 26.2m), will have the capacity to recycle 10,000 tonnes of batteries a year. The government is contributing 4.7 billion forints to the project, which will create 200 new jobs, the statement added.