Hungary will ask the EU for a one-year extension of an exemption from sanctions against Russia that allows refiner Slovnaft, part of MOL, to export products refined from Russian oil to the Czech Republic, Hungary's Foreign Minister said on Monday 3 July.
Peter Szijjarto said after a meeting with Slovakia's Foreign Minister that Hungarian energy group MOL needed one more year to complete investment at its Slovak refinery Slovnaft that would allow a further shift to non-Russian crude.
"To carry these investments through one more year is needed, therefore we ask the EU to extend by one year the exemption from sanctions that allows MOL and Slovnaft, which is part of the group, to export products refined from Russian oil to the Czech Republic," Szijjarto told a press conference.
MOL owns refineries in landlocked Hungary and Slovakia, both of which are fed by the Druzhba pipeline's southern spur. Slovakia receives nearly all of its crude oil from Russia via the Druzhba pipeline but plans to cut the proportion this year.
MOL's Chairman and Chief Executive, Zsolt Hernadi, told Reuters in April that MOL planned to partly finance the US$500 - US$700 million in technological investment needed to diversify its Danube and Slovnaft refineries away from Urals oil with EU funds.
"We would like to be able to freely decide at the end of 2025 about when, how much, and of which kind of oil we want to ship into which refinery [...] by end-2025, early 2026," Hernadi said in an interview. Last year, only about 5% of Slovnaft's oil intake was non-Russian but this will rise to about 30 - 35%, or 2 million t, by the end of 2023, he said.
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