Hungary signs AGRI natural gas pipeline project

Baku, September 14 (MTI) – Prime Minister Viktor Orban confirmed Hungary’s commitment to the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romanian Interconnector (AGRI) gas transport project, after signing an agreement on Hungary’s participation in the project in Baku on Tuesday.

Hungary will cooperate with the neighbouring Romania to make the project successful, Orban said.

    Traian Basescu, the Romanian president, said the AGRI would give a new impetus to cooperation between Europe and countries of the Caspian Sea.

    ”Hungary’s participation is key to the project’s reliability,” Basescu said.

    The AGRI project will open a new chapter in regional energy cooperation, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said at a joint press conference with his Georgian and Romanian counterparts and Orban, after the signing.

    Aliyev added that 28 billion cubic metres of gas is expected to be extracted in his country this year, much more than the national consumption of about 10-11 billion cubic metres. The surplus will be exported or put into storage, he said.

    The AGRI project involves the transport of liquefied natural-gas (LNG) from Azerbaijan to Central Europe via the Black Sea and Romania and is planned as an alternative to the EU-backed Nabucco and White Stream gas pipelines.

    Orban, Aliyev, Basescu and the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, signed the Baku Declaration at a summit on the subject held in the Azerbaijani capital. The project aims to make a significant contribution to the security of energy supplies in Europe and promote competition in the energy market, the prime minister’s spokesman said earlier.

    According to the declaration, the signing parties express support for the project which aims to “diversify the supply of hydrocarbon resources by creating a link between Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and Hungary,” Peter Szijjarto said.