Slovenian and Hungarian power grids connected

Slovenian prime minister Robert Golob and Hungarian Prime Minister Voktor Orban
Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob and Hungarian Prime Minister Voktor Orban inaugurate the Cirkovce-Pince power line. Photo: Bor Slana/STA

The national power grids of Slovenia and Croatia are now connected after a 2×400 kilovolt power line, whose construction was completed in June after two years of works, was officially launched on 2 December.

The new overhead power line stretches from Cirkovce, some 20 kilometres south of Maribor, to Pince on the border with Hungary. It cost EUR 160 million to build, with a portion of the cost covered from EU funds.

The launch ceremony featured Prime Minister Robert Golob and his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban, who described the project as historic and timely given that it comes in the midst of a severe energy crisis.

“Not only is it the biggest project in the history of [transmission system operator] ELES and will improve the reliability of Slovenia’s supply, it is also of extraordinary regional and wider importance,” Golob said.

Hungary is the last neighbouring country with which the Slovenian system is now connected. This, Golob said, will improve the reliability of the system.

The power grids connected, the two countries are now thinking about building a natural gas pipeline connection as well. That would help Hungary diversify its supplies and reduce its reliance on Russia.

Orban said that “everything needs to be done to set up other important connections between Slovenia and Hungary as well.”