In Hungary, there is still no one willing to receive American LNG – through Croatia. This is evidenced by the data of the ENTSOG platform of the operators of gas transmission systems of the EU countries and the results of the auctions. One of the reasons is the high prices for gas supply from Croatia to Hungary.
The terminal on the Croatian island of Krk with a capacity of 2.6 billion cubic meters per year was launched this year and in almost three months it received three gas carriers – two from the United States and one from Nigeria. Each unloading of a gas carrier with the supply of fuel to the country’s gas transportation system was accompanied by a sharp drop in Russian gas supplies to Croatia for more than two weeks. However, American gas never reached Hungary.
According to ENTSOG, there was no gas flow between Croatia and Hungary this year. At the same time, the results of the auctions on the Hungarian trading platform RBP show that Hungarian companies are in no hurry to book the capacity of the interstate point on the border of Croatia and Hungary and beyond.
So, since the beginning of the year, the Croatian operator Plinacro has held four monthly auctions for January-April and tenders for the third and fourth quarters of 2021. However, there were no people willing to order gas supplies from Croatia to Hungary, and the auctions ended in vain.
Hungarian edition 444 noted that the United States had long pressed on Hungary and Croatia to create an LNG terminal and reduce their dependence on Russia. At the same time, American diplomats insisted on a capacity of 5-10 billion cubic meters per year. However, countries simply do not need such volumes, and they agreed to 2.6 billion cubic meters. At the same time, the final point in deciding the fate of the terminal was put by Budapest, without which it could not be. The Hungarian newspaper noted that there were few people willing to buy gas through Croatia, and the Hungarian government asked the MVM state group to conclude a contract for 1 billion cubic meters per year. She agreed, but three-quarters of the LNG purchased would still remain in Croatia in exchange for Russian gas, as the Croatian Energy Agency charged very high fees for outgoing capacity to Hungary. There it will be used by the Croatian division of MVM.
Judging by the trading data on the RBP platform, the Croatian operator’s tariffs for gas transportation are really high. So, in mid-March, he raffled off April deliveries of 4.5 million cubic meters per day and set a fee of $ 40 per thousand cubic meters. This is more than Gazprom pays even for the non-contractual transit of gas through Ukraine ($ 38), which is the most expensive route for the Russian company. It is noteworthy that the prices of the Croatian operator at earlier auctions were even higher – two or even three times.
As topnews reported, Croatia is a small consumer of Russian gas, 1.84 billion cubic meters in 2020. And LNG supplies to Croatia did not affect Gazprom’s exports in any way. Due to the cold winter, the company restored supplies after a disastrous 2020 and increased exports for two and a half months of this year by 28%. At the same time, Hungary, neighboring Croatia, increased imports of Russian gas in January-February by 85%.
Deputy Director of the National Energy Security Fund (NESF) Alexei Grivach told EADaily that the supply of American LNG to Croatia and Hungary is a promotion to promote the United States to European gas markets: “Hungary has no physical need for this gas, and LNG supplies compared to imports from Russia will be small. ” In 2020, Gazprom exported 8.6 billion cubic meters of gas to Hungary.