Economic cooperation between Slovenia and Hungary, though good, could be further upgraded with energy and road infrastructure projects, Slovenian Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec said after meetings with Hungarian ministers of foreign affairs and innovation and technology, Peter Szijjarto and Laszlo Palkovics in Budapest on Wednesday.
One of the planned projects is the Cirkovce-Pince electric power line, which will create the first cross-border link between Slovenia's and Hungary's electric grids, the Infrastructure Ministry said in a press release.
Vrtovec said that both sides wanted the project to start as soon as possible. "We expect construction to begin in September." Szijjarto meanwhile told the Hungarian press agency MTI that he expected the project to be completed by the end of 2021.
Vrtovec highlighted several planned projects, adding that the countries signed a memorandum last year encompassing natural gas, electricity, nuclear energy and renewables.
The countries are also planning a gas pipeline between Nagykanizsa and Kidričevo, which would give Slovenia access to gas storage facilities in Hungary, with Vrtovec expressing hope that the few open questions will be resolved soon.
The MTI also reported that Syijjarto underlined the importance of pipeline and grid links between the countries, as well as the importance of increasing the number of border crossings along the border.
Vrtovec also discussed railway links between Slovenia and Hungary, with the minister expressing belief that planning should begin as soon as possible of a new railway route linking Hungary to the Slovenian railway network near the village of Beltinci.
The rail link is of great importance for Luka Koper, the operator of Slovenia's only sea port, which could build a big warehouse in Beltinci, said Vrtovec.