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ZAGREB (Croatia), June 21 (SeeNews) - Croatia and its northeastern neighbour Hungary have established a working group to explore the potential for cooperation on the natural gas market, the government in Zagreb said.
The working group, which will comprise Croatian and Hungarian experts, will analyse the potential pros and cons of such cooperation in the coming months, Croatian energy minister Tomislav Coric said, as quoted in a government statement earlier this week after a meeting between Coric and Hungarian foreign and trade minister Peter Szijjarto.
The national market regulators and the natural gas transmission system operators of the two countries will also participate in the working group, Szijjarto said.
Hungary has already announced its interest to acquire a 25% stake in the capital of state-owned LNG Croatia, the developer of a project to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on the island of Krk.
"Such a cooperation could create market conditions, in which the purchase of LNG via this terminal would be economically feasible and competitive for us," Szijjarto said this week.
In October, Szijjarto said that Hungary is interested in the import of 1.7 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas annually from the LNG terminal in Krk, whose completion is scheduled for December 2019.
In December 2017, the EU provided a 101.4 million euro ($114.6 million) grant for the construction of the LNG terminal, since it was considered to be a project of mutual interest by the European Commission (EC).
The EC said at the time that the LNG terminal will first operate as an offshore floating storage and regasification unit with an annual capacity of at least 2 billion cubic metres. Its cost is estimated at 383.6 million euro.