Natural Gas Transmission
FGSZ Földgázszállító Zrt. (hereinafter FGSZ) is the sole transmission system operator of the nearly 6,000 km long high-pressure natural gas transmission pipeline system in Hungary. It performs its activities under regulated market conditions. In international comparison, the Company’s grid is operated according to the highest technological standards. FGSZ belongs to companies of strategic importance within the region. Aside from domestic natural gas transmission, FGSZ has bi-directional gas interconnections with Serbia, Romania, Croatia, Ukraine, and Slovakia, as well as an entry point from Austria. Its dynamism and efficiency make the company one of Europe’s most significant natural gas TSOs.
- 5,889 km long pipeline system
- 26 entry points, nearly 400 gas delivery stations
- 3 transmission regions with 2-2 sites, 8 compressor stations
- High technical class control center in Siófok
- Record transmission volumes of 24 bcm in 2019, 22 bcm in 2020
FGSZ is the sole transmission system operator of Hungary. It performs its activity under market conditions regulated by law. Besides the domestic natural gas transmission, FGSZ is also engaged in international transmission activities and 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 European gas market cooperation based on mutual advantages, FGSZ aims to ensure the interoperability of the natural gas networks of the region on the part of Hungary; FGSZ also strives to increase the volumes of transmission and transit through Hungary. The developments of the pipeline and trade infrastructure implemented by FGSZ in the recent years laid down the foundations for the company’s future, and its regional activities.
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 operators use it partially or entirely on their system capacities throughout the EU and the Energy Community: Eustream (Slovakia), Transgaz (Romania), Plinacro (Croatia), Bulgartransgaz (Bulgaria), DESFA (Greece), Gas Connect Austria (Austria), Gaz-System (Poland), Gas TSO of Ukraine (Ukraine), Gastrans (Serbia), Moldovatransgaz and Vestmoldtransgaz (Moldavia), Ontras, Gascade, NEL Gastransport and Opal Gastransport (Germany), and the Greek-Bulgarian ICGB. As a result of a successful 3-year long development project, RBP and all other business applications operated by FGSZ (most notably the Informatic Platform and Trading Platform) were completely renewed in 2018, but the applications are continuously being developed in line with regulatory and business needs.
Regional pipeline developments
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 or strengthen existing connections providing opportunities for system users to access new sources and exploit trading possibilities. FGSZ supports all projects which enhance efficient utilization of the existing grid.
The priority of FGSZ’s development projects is to ensure the possibility of Hungarian natural gas imports from all possible directions, in order to enhance security of supply. The company aims at becoming an increasingly important part of the regional natural gas grid by allowing bi-directional gas flows on its existing cross-border pipelines and by further increasing their capacity.
As part of this long-term strategic goal, FGSZ’s latest interconnector entered commercial operations on 1 October 2021 at Kiskundorozsma, next to the Serbian-Hungarian border. With a capacity of 8.5 bcma in the Serbian-Hungarian direction, traders may ship natural gas to Hungary from six of its neighboring countries. FGSZ’s earlier developments during the last decade made it possible for gas to enter the country in the amount of 1.75 bcma from Croatia since the Krk LNG terminal’s startup last January, offering real supply source diversification.
Increasing security of supply has become a main element of both European Union and Hungarian energy policy. From the projects of FGSZ, the expansion of the both the HU-SK and the RO-HU pipelines became part of the latest, fifth edition European Union list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI), published in 2021 Autumn.
Regarding the RO-HU pipeline, expansion of its existing capacity of 1.75 bcma to 4.4 bcma in the RO>HU direction may assist Hungarian supply source diversification attempts, 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.
The goal of the HU-SI project is establishing a new gas interconnection between Slovenia and Hungary, since Slovenia is Hungary’s only neighboring country without a direct natural gas interconnector to Hungary. As a result of the project, a bi-directional gas corridor would be established between Hungary and Italy through Slovenia, giving Hungary access to the Italian LNG terminals.
FGSZ and its Ukrainian partner, GTSOU merged the two physical border crossing points on the Ukrainian-Hungarian border in Beregdaróc in a single virtual interconnection point (VIP Bereg) as of 1 May 2020, enabling more intensive booking and use of capacities between the neighboring entry-exit systems – this has been the first virtual interconnection point between an EU and a non-EU country.