The Hungarian Hydrocarbon Stockpiling Association (MSZKSZ) founded the legal predecessor of MMBF Földgáztároló Zártkörűen Működő Részvénytársaság – Natural Gas Storage Plc. (hereinafter referred to as: MMBF Zrt.) in 2006. The present shareholders of the Company are Hungarian Development Bank Zrt. and Hungarian Hydrocarbon Stockpiling Association.
In 2006 February the Hungarian Parliament approved the Act XXVI of 2006 (Fbkt.) on strategic storage of natural gas with the purpose to manage eventually emerging gas supply crisis and to improve the security of natural gas supply of the residential (household) and communal consumers. Fbkt. has appointed the Hungarian Hydrocarbon Stockpiling Association (MSZKSZ) to establish and operate the natural gas strategic reserve. The referred Act has also prescribed that the strategic natural gas reserve shall be maintained in Hungary in underground gas storage facilities with the required capacities.
MSZKSZ established MSZKSZ Zrt. to perform its obligations specified in the said Act, and the Zrt. issued an invitation to tender on selecting the site for the strategic natural gas storage facility and on implementing this UGS. MOL Nyrt. won the tender and acquired an ownership share in the company as the owner of the future underground gas storage facility stake. Then the Company pursued its operations under the name of MMBF Zrt. (hereinafter referred to as the Company).
Consequently, MMBF Zrt., a company jointly owned by MOL Nyrt. and MSZKSZ implemented the Szőreg-1 underground gas storage project. In 2007 the Company acquired the mining rights for the mining plot named „Szeged-IV hydrocarbon gas reservoir" from MOL Nyrt., then the new underground gas storage facility was implemented in this mining plot during the subsequent nearly two-and-a-half years through the completion of new wells and installation of injection and withdrawal facilities on the surface. The Company reported the storage facility as fully completed and operational in 2009 December, in compliance with the deadlines set out in the Act, and the capacities of the strategic natural gas storage have become available for operations as of January 1, 2010. The strategic natural gas storage was fully filled up with 1.2 bcm natural gas by the end of December in 2009. Commercial storage capacities were also implemented parallel with the completion of the strategic natural gas storage facility with regard to economic considerations. These commercial capacities have become available since April 1, 2010.
Szőreg-1 natural gas storage facility was implemented with modern technology and record speed next to Algyő, a couple of miles from Szeged city and it has an imposing appearance and 1.9 bcm working gas capacity, and 25 million m3/day withdrawal capacity, and it functions as a natural gas storage unit securing high-level gas supply services primarily for MSZKSZ (strategic natural gas storage), and secondarily for its commercial partners. MMBF Zrt. is the operator of the storage as it holds the license for strategic and commercial gas storage operations issued by the Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority (MEKH), and in accordance with the appointment entitled the Company for strategic natural gas storage operations by virtue of the Law Decree No. 13/2011. (IV.7.) NFM and ensuring strict compliance with the applicable environmental protection requirements.
MSZKSZ is the owner of the strategic natural gas reserve in place in the storage facility, and the Company is responsible for securing and withdrawing and/or injecting the gas in conformity with the relevant laws in accordance with the Long-Term Custody Agreement signed by the Company and MSZKSZ in 2007.
As provided by Article 124/B of Act XL of 2008, the Gas Supply Law, the strategic natural gas storage facility shall be directly or indirectly owned by the Hungarian State. In concordance with this provision, and as a result of the share sale and purchase agreement signed by MOL Nyrt., the Hungarian Development Bank Zrt. – MFB Zrt. (owned by the Hungarian State) and MSZKSZ on October 7, 2013 MFB Zrt. acquired 51% ownership with effect of December 30, 2013. in the Company, whereas MSZKSZ could increase its shareholding ratio up to 49%, and MOL Nyrt. had no shareholding any longer.
Since its foundation MMBF Zrt. has been an active player in the Hungarian natural gas market, and since 2008 it has been a full member of Gas Infrastructure Europe and Gas Storage Europe, as major international organisations.