Natural Gas Transmission
FGSZ Földgázszállító Zrt. (hereinafter FGSZ) is the sole transmission system operator and a 100% subsidiary of MOL. It owns and operates the nearly 6,000 km long high-pressure natural gas transmission pipeline system covering the territory of Hungary, supplying gas distribution companies, power plants and a number of large industrial consumers. FGSZ performs its activities under regulated market conditions and, in compliance with EU rules, has been ITO-certified since 2012.
Following the construction of the first natural gas pipeline in Hungary in 1938, the gas transmission network has developed organically and FGSZ, as a strategically important company in the region, has been transporting gas internationally for some time by now, besides its domestic activities. Since 2021, it has been operating interconnectors with six neighbouring countries: bidirectional points with Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia and Croatia, and an entry point from Austria. In international comparison, the Company’s grid is operated according to the highest technological standards.
- 5,889 km long high-pressure pipeline system
- 26 entry points, nearly 400 gas delivery stations
- 3 transmission regions with 2-2 sites, 8 compressor stations
- 6 interconnection points
- High technical class control center in Siófok
- ~700 employee
- Transmission volumes (2022): 16.6 bcm
FGSZ is the sole transmission system operator of Hungary. It performs its activity under market conditions regulated by law, according to the ITO certificate. The Company’s main activity is the construction, operation, and allocation of natural gas transmission capacity, of which it offers yearly, quarterly, monthly, daily, and within day firm and interruptible capacities through auctions. The Company’s main responsibilities include the odorization and continuous quality control of natural gas delivered to partners for safety purposes, the maintenance of the hydraulic balance of the transmission system, as well as the measurement of quantitative and qualitative characteristics of natural gas in a transparent manner, in compliance with the most stringent international standards.
FGSZ plays an important role in delivering gas production to consumers in Hungary and, to meet the needs of domestic network users from imported supplies, it also carries out international gas transportation activities besides domestic gas transmission. It operates bidirectional interconnection points with Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia, and Serbia, as well as a unidirectional entry point from Austria. The security of supply of Hungary is inseparable from the energy security of the CEE region and the whole of Europe. Therefore, within the framework of the European gas market cooperation based on mutual advantages, FGSZ aims to ensure the interoperability of the natural gas networks of the region from Hungary, and also strives to increase the transit volumes through Hungary.
To maintain and increase the operational safety of the natural gas transmission system, the Company applies the Pipeline Infrastructure Management System (PIMS) as part of its integrated management system and continuously improves the conditions necessary for safe operation.
DEVELOPMEN PROJECTS AND INITIATIVES
FGSZ, as a reliable and efficient operator of the Hungarian natural gas transmission system, intends to enhance flexibility and security of supply on the regional natural gas market. Developments aim at establishing new routes and strengthening existing interconnections providing opportunities for network users to access new sources and exploit trading possibilities. FGSZ is also continuously implementing improvements to enhance efficient utilization of the existing network.
The primary objective of FGSZ's developments is to ensure the possibility to transport natural gas to Hungary from all potential directions, as well as to implement internal network improvements that will help to adapt to the changes in the international transport environment. By expanding its existing capacities, the company aims to become a key playerof the regional gas transmission network.
To develop interconnectors and establish new capacities, the expansion of both the HU-SK and the RO-HU interconnectors became part of the latest, fifth edition European Union list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI), published in 2021 Autumn. Regarding the RO-HU interconnector, expansion of its existing capacity in the direction RO>HU increased from 1.75 bcma to 2.45 bcma. Upgrading to a level of 4.4 bcma could make a significant contribution to Hungarian supply source diversification efforts, since in the mid-term either Romanian Black Sea gas, gas from Azerbaijan, or Greek and Turkish LNG may arrive in Hungary via this route.
Slovenia is Hungary’s only neighboring country without a direct natural gas interconnector to Hungary. Negotiations on the HU-SI project for a new HU-SI interconnection are ongoing between FGSZ and its Slovenian partner, Plinovodi.
FGSZ is also involved in regional initiatives, such as the Vertical Corridor and the Solidarity Ring.
REGIONAL BOOKING PLATFORM
The Regional Booking Platform (RBP) of FGSZ is an IT application developed in accordance with the EU network code governing the capacity allocation mechanisms used in natural gas transmission networks and with other relevant EU and national legislation. The capacity allocation application enables capacity allocation procedures and secondary capacity trading among other services. Today – beyond FGSZ – sixteen other transmission system and storage operators use it partially or entirely throughout the EU and the Energy Community: Eustream (Slovakia), Transgaz (Romania), Plinacro (Croatia), Bulgartransgaz as a TSO and storage operator (Bulgaria), DESFA (Greece), Gas Connect Austria (Austria), Gaz-System (Poland), Gas TSO of Ukraine (Ukraine), Gastrans (Serbia), Moldovatransgaz and Vestmoldtransgaz (Moldova), Ontras, Gascade, NEL Gastransport and Opal Gastransport (Germany), and the Greek-Bulgarian ICGB. The applications are continuously being developed in line with regulatory and business needs.
LINEPACK FLEXIBILITY SERVICE
As a new business service, FGSZ launched the Linepack Flexibility Service (LPFS) in December 2022 owing to which network users could significantly reduce their costs related to balancing.
In line with decarbonisation efforts, FGSZ places a strong emphasis on sustainability and tasks related to the green transition. The Company is exploring the adaptation of the existing transmission system to changing needs and to the transport of renewable gases – it is member of the European Hydrogen Backbone initiative. The Company is also working on a number of other projects to make its current operations more sustainable, carrying out methane leak detection and repair activities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and energy efficiency improvements. In 2022, the Company was awarded the OGMP "Gold Standard" certification, which also recognizes the Company's detailed implementation program to reduce methane emissions.