Azerbaijan is key gas supplier to Nabucco: interview with MOL CEO

Azerbaijan is key gas supplier to Nabucco: interview with MOL CEO

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 8 / Trend , A.Badalova/

Interview Trend with Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MOL, which is one of the shareholders of Nabucco project, Zsolt Hernadi.

Trend : Your company is one of the shareholders of Nabucco gas pipeline project. What are your expectations for Nabucco summit on May 8 in Prague?

Zsolt Hernadi: We are welcoming the Prague Nabucco summit and consider it as another step for gaining support for the project.This year started with the Budapest Summit in January, a very good momentum for enhancing the political support for Nabucco.  It was a successful event that gathered high level government representatives from all Nabucco shareholders, as well as gas producing countries. The Nabucco meeting in Sofia was also meant to continue the project's boost and I am confident that the Prague summit will significantly add to the project's advance

Q: Could the world financial crisis affect the predicted cost of Nabucco gas pipeline construction and reduce it due to drop in steel prices and prices for labour?

A: It is a possibility. By all means, there were talks with the EIB and the EBRD, and with credit export agencies. Few months ago, at the meeting in Budapest, the CEO of the EIB, Philippe Maystadt, announced that the bank is ready to finance 25% of the project for over two billion euro. The credit agencies are also ready to finance the supplies and construction, therefore we do trust that Nabucco will be successfully realized. If there is an opportunity on the market that could lead to a reduced price of the construction, we will surely welcome it.

Q: Which of these priorities does Hungary follow: to devote all efforts to Nabucco or to move forward slowly but surely?

A: One of Hungary's top priorities is the security of supply in the region and MOL is fully committed to the Nabucco project, as constantly proven until now.We strongly believe in the necessity of Nabucco and we will continue to dedicate our efforts to have a contribution in making it happen.

Q: What is your prognosis on demand for gas in Europe, in particularly in Hungary? Don't you exclude the possibility of gas demand reduction in the light of the world financial crisis?

A: The demand for gas depends to a great extent on the temperature (1-2 bcm per year consumption difference in Hungary) and in addition, the general economic conditions. However, since major part of the gas demand is generated by the industrial segment, a deep and long recession is "necessary" to have a visible, long-term impact on gas consumption numbers. With regards to the recent gas crisis period, our analysis showed that the economic recession affected the gas consumption significantly.

Q: What role do you attach to Azerbaijan in terms of diversification of Europe's energy supply sources?

A: Azerbaijan is key supply country for Nabucco, not only due to the huge gas resources in Shah Deniz, but also due to its existing pipeline connection with Turkey.

President Ilham Aliyev, who made us the honor to participate at the Nabucco Budapest Summit in January, was very positive about the involvement in the project and re-stated the intention of Azerbaijan to become a supplier for the Nabucco project and for Europe. More than that, in light of the good relations between Europe and Azerbaijan, it would be expected a long-lasting, mutually advantageous partnership.

Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at: [email protected]

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