March 10, 2009

Hungary, Russia to sign pipeline deal

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said state energy giant Gazprom and the Hungarian Development Bank would sign a natural pipeline deal.

The deal was ready for signing, Putin said Tuesday. The project involves construction of a Hungarian section for the South Stream pipeline, designed to carry 31 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year to the Balkans and from there to other European countries.

Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia, Italy and Greece are involved in the deal, RIA Novosti reported.

The first deliveries are expected in 2013.

Putin also said a separate deal to build a large underground natural gas storage facility in Hungary was in the works.

Hungarian energy company MOL is Gazprom's partner in that project, Putin said.