By JASMINA KUZMANOVIC
ZAGREB (Bloomberg) -- Croatia, Hungary and Ukraine agreed to expand their existing pipelines to create a corridor that will carry natural gas through the three countries and connect to the planned Trans-Adriatic Pipeline in Europes south.
The new infrastructure will enable us to send gas to eastern European markets, Croatian Deputy Foreign Minister Josko Klisovic said by phone in Zagreb, adding the countries prime ministers are ready to sign a pact soon.
By diversifying gas supplies, the corridor will increase the security of energy supplies in the region and help curb Europes reliance on Russian gas after pricing disputes with Ukraine disrupted shipments to European Union customers.
In Croatia, the corridor would connect to a planned liquefied natural-gas terminal on the island of Krk, as well as to the planned link to the TAP pipe in the south, Klisovic said. The TAP, being developed by Statoil, EON and Axpo, will ship 10 Bcmpy of Azeri gas to Italy from Turkeys EU border, via Greece and Albania.
The project may be financed by EU funds and interested companies, Klisovic said, adding it was too soon to discuss the cost.