In collaboration between Hungary, Serbia, and Slovenia, a joint regional electricity exchange will commence operations in 2024. Since its launch in 2010, the Hungarian Power Exchange (HUPX) has evolved into the leading electricity exchange in the region, playing a prominent role in the Central-Eastern European and North Balkan energy markets. The strengthening of the energy ties between the three neighbouring countries is set to enhance the efficiency and profitability of trading and reinforce Hungary’s energy sovereignty.
Operated by HUPX Ltd., a subsidiary of the Hungarian transmission system operator MAVIR, the Hungarian Power Exchange serves as a crucial platform for electricity trading, encompassing 60–70 per cent of domestic consumption. Considering international developments, especially EU regulatory plans and market consolidation, a strategic step is required to solidify the position of the Hungarian electricity exchange.
With this in mind, the government aimed to establish a regional exchange collaboration covering Central-Eastern Europe and the North Balkans. The Minister of Energy was authorized to take the necessary measures for the establishment of a Budapest-based holding company by the end of 2024. The company will be jointly owned by the Hungarian, Serbian, and Slovenian electricity system operators, as well as EPEX SPOT, providing the technological background for settlements.
Regarding the announcement, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó stated:
‘In the past year and a half to two years, energy security has emerged as one of the most pressing challenges in Europe. Perhaps never before has the close energy cooperation between countries been of such paramount importance. This holds particularly true for Central Europe, where the absence of large oil or gas fields intensifies the interdependence among nations. Therefore, it is excellent news that we are now closer than ever to creating the largest-ever integrated Central European electricity exchange.
Decisions from Slovenian, Serbian, and Hungarian corporate and professional sectors have been made, and following governmental approvals, the common electricity exchange of the three countries can commence its operations even before the end of the first half of the year. This joint venture is poised to significantly enhance the energy security of the entire region.’
The partnership opens up favourable market expansion opportunities for Hungarian businesses in the Balkan Peninsula countries, supporting services related to the energy transition.
Since 2010, Hungary has significantly expanded and developed cross-border energy network connections. As part of those efforts, in the summer of 2023 an agreement was reached with Slovenia on the construction of the last missing natural gas interconnector.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/Ministry of Energy