Agreement reached for a new non-Russian power source for Europe | Popgen Tech
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) – The leaders of Hungary, Romania, Georgia and Azerbaijan finalized an agreement Saturday on an undersea electricity connection that could become a new power source for the European Union amid a crunch on energy supplies caused by the war in Ukraine was caused.
The agreement involves a cable running under the Black Sea that will connect Azerbaijan to Hungary via Georgia and Romania.
The deal comes as Hungary, which has campaigned strongly against EU sanctions against Russia for its war in Ukraine, seeks additional sources of fossil fuels to reduce its heavy reliance on Russian oil and gas.
Azerbaijan plans to export electricity from offshore wind farms to Europe via Georgia, a cable under the Black Sea, and then to Romania and Hungary.
The office of Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said in a statement on Friday that the agreement between the four nations would provide the “financial and technical framework” for the undersea electricity cable project.
The project will aim to diversify energy supplies and increase local energy security, the statement said.
On Friday, Romanian natural gas producer Romgaz also said it had signed a contract with Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR to receive natural gas through the so-called southern gas corridor, with deliveries to begin on January 1. Romgaz said it would meet its “strategic goals” to diversify natural gas sources.
Hungary’s foreign minister, Peter Szijjarto, said in August that Azerbaijan would soon produce “large amounts of green electricity” with offshore wind farms, and that by joining the link project that would bring that energy to Europe, Hungary was meeting a requirement can bring, meet two EU member states participate so that the investment can receive financing from the bloc.
Szijjarto said the project could be completed within three or four years, and that it would be a big step towards diversifying energy supplies and achieving carbon neutrality targets.
Szijjarto met with officials from both Qatar and Oman this week about possible future imports of oil and natural gas to Hungary from the two Middle Eastern countries, a further sign that Hungary is taking steps to level off the 85% of its natural gas. more than 60% of its oil it currently receives from Russia.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Romanian President Iohannis, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev attended the signing event in Bucharest on Saturday together with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen
Spike reported from Budapest. Stephen McGrath in Bucharest contributed.