Russia will begin delivering its natural gas to Hungary via the Turk Stream pipeline in the second half of 2021, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said in a Rossiya-24 TV channel forecast on Thursday, TASS reported.
"According to the present-day state of affairs, it turns out that we stand a good chance to start receiving the gas via the new delivery route by approximately second half of 2021," he said.
Commenting on another Russian-Hungarian project, the construction of the Paks NPP in Hungary, the diplomat said his country and the European Union have completed the process of approval.
"We are already behind schedule, I won’t deny it. But falling behind the schedule does not mean that we reject the project. It only means that the NPP will be put into operation later than planned. The delays are mostly due to protracted formal procedures within the EU, which took longer than they should and definitely longer than we planned. Now they are over, and the EU has given the green light. The preparatory work on the ground is under way, auxiliary infrastructure is being built," he said.
The TurkStream project includes construction of a gas pipeline under the Black Sea to the European part of Turkey and further to the border with Greece. The first line will be designed to supply the Turkish market, the second - for gas supply to the countries of South and Southeast Europe. Gazprom considers Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary as potential markets.
The 930 km long pipeline runs along the bottom of the Black Sea to the coast of Turkey. Further on a 180 km long land-based transit line will be laid up to the Turkish border with neighboring states.
The capacity of each line is 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The first gas supplies are scheduled for late 2019.
In May 2018, Gazprom and Turkey signed a protocol on a land-based part of the transit leg of the TurkStream gas pipeline, due to supply Russian gas to European customers. In addition to the protocol, Gazprom and Botas inked an agreement on conditions and parameters for the section construction, which would enable the sides to take practical steps in the project. The TurkAkim Gaz Tasima A. S. joint venture will be set up to build the land-based part of the pipeline.
The Russian company estimates the total budget for the construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline at 7 billion euros.