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BRUA stakeholders change plans
The “BRUA” project, a new natural gas pipeline that would connect Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Austria, has hit a major bump in the road, one that might even signal the end of the project. A move by Hungary and Romania is making for an uncertain future for the gas transit route designed to deliver quantities of Black Sea gas to markets further west.
ICIS reported last month that the Hungarian and Romanian TSOs involved in the project no longer see value in the project’s span to Austria.
According to Hungary’s TSO, FGSZ, only the existing Hungary-Romania interconnector is “economically viable” and the company would prefer a capacity expansion of that existing infrastructure. In July, FGSZ announced that it would not hold an open season on the entire project, which includes Austria.
Observers were surprised, one even surmising that it could mean the end of BRUA.
Bye bye, Baumgarten
The article recalls that BRUA’s original concept was to link Bulgaria to Austria’s central European Baumgarten hub, delivering gas 582km, from the south to the north, providing an alternative to Russian sources of gas – either from the Black Sea or the Caspian region.
If Austria is not included in the project, FGSZ says that the gas could go to Slovakia, Ukraine, Serbia and Croatia.
Later, ICIS reported that the European Federation of Energy Traders demanded an explanation from Hungarian authorities. Meanwhile, on its website, Transgaz wrote it was still committed to the original BRUA projects.
But at the beginning of this month, Romania’s state-run actmedia reported that FGSZ and Romania’s TSO, Transgaz, are planning on pursuing BRUA’s Romania-Hungary section (“ROHU”), which would deliver 1.75 BCM/annum of bi-directional gas flow capacity by the end of 2019.