EC complaint for illegal aid for Hungarian TPP Matrai Eromu

03.Aug 2020.

Matrai Eromu has five coal-fueled blocks, built in the 1960ʼs and 70ʼs, and two gas turbines built in the 2000ʼs. It also has two open-pit lignite mines. The plant accounts for close to 14% of domestic electricity generation.

The Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) is turning to the European Commission over what the opposition party alleges was illegal state aid used to acquire Matrai Eromu, the second-largest power plant in the country, a party official said, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

MSZP vice president Laszlo Szakacs said documents the party sued to obtain show the “cloak-and-dagger” deal cost the state HUF 75 billion, including a shareholder loan of close to HUF 5 bln, a HUF 26 bln capital raise and the takeover of HUF 26 bln of debt, on top of the HUF 17.5 bln purchase price announced by the government.

The state acquired Matrai Eromu from listed holding company Opus Global, controlled by business magnate and key Orban ally Lorinc Meszaros, in the spring. Matrai Eromuʼs management has since outlined plans to add a 500 MW gas-fueled combined-cycle block at the plant and install solar parks with a combined capacity of 440 MW at its lignite mines which are gradually being recultivated.