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C&E EUROPE

MOL agrees to examine regional national gas networks

Hungarian oil and gas company MOL agreed with regional partners on drawing up a feasibility study for a plan to create a unified transmission system through connecting national gas pipeline networks.

MOL proposed the plan, dubbed “New Europe Transmission System,” or NETS, late last year.
In Bucharest on Friday, the head of MOL's gas transmission unit met with the heads of Romania's Transgaz, Bosnia-Herzegovina's BH-Gas, Slovenia's GEOPLIN Plinovodi, Austria's OMV GAS, Croatia's Plinacro and Serbia's Srbijagaz for a roundtable discussion to launch the project. The company heads agreed to prepare a feasibility study and to set up joint working groups to examine the plan.

“This is indeed a significant step for NETS, as the region's seven leading companies voiced their basic support for the concept and expressed their interest in working together,” said János Zsuga, who heads MOL's gas transmission unit.

Also present at the talks was the European Commission's Directorate for Energy and Transport's Olivier Silla, who voiced Brussels' backing for the project. The project would establish a connection between existing and future member states, and could at the same time lead to an economy of scale necessary for infrastructure development which could foster competition and at the same time improves security of supply, Silla said.

NETS would have one of the longest gas pipeline networks in Europe (27,000 kilometers) and would be well positioned to leverage international capital markets to finance major projects, such as the Nabucco pipeline. Consumers would also enjoy the benefits of an integrated platform for gas supply and a greater overall security of supply, MOL said earlier.

(BBJ 17.iii.08)

 
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