The launch of construction works at the EU-supported Nabucco gas pipeline aimed at providing Romania and other countries more energy independence towards Russia has been postponed once again as Hungary gets involved in an alternative project controlled by Russian giant Gazprom.

The Nabucco project would allow Romania to receive natural gas from iran and Turkmenistan via Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. About 24 billion cubic meters of natural cas would be transported to Western Europe through Nabucco, a 3,300 pipeline promoted by a consortium formed of Turkish company Botas, OMV (Austria), MOL (Hungary), Bulgargaz (Bulgaria) and Transgaz (Romania).

According to Hungarian online publication, quoting OMV gas division head Werner Auli, the final decision on the project was once again postponed due to a lack of progress in finding a sixth major investor.

And International Herald Tribune reports that meanwhile the Government in Budapest decided to join the development of an alternative project, run by Russian company Gazprom. The project aims at extending the Blue Stream pipeline following almost the same route as Nabucco, costing almost just as much and due to be completed within the same deadlines.

According to the IHT, the Hungarian decision sparked stupor within European governments as the EU have been promising - including at the latest European Council, last week - to encourage Europe’s energy independence.