Rule of law

Company promising free energy source awarded €1,6 million from EU funds

We will make free energy out of thin air – practically, that was the promise of a Hungarian businessman who, according to the official government website, received a grant of HUF 410 million for his project. The whole enterprise was financed by EU funds, coordinated by the Hungarian Ministry of Economy.

This story starts last spring when one of our readers pointed out that according to official documents a company called Halna-Duna Kft. was awarded HUF 490 million in order to develop a strange structure. The headline of the grant application said the following: ’Research and development for a magnetic engine that uses the power in between constant magnets.’ If you read the documentation, it becomes clear that the company is proposing a structure that wants to make energy out of nothing. The structure defies all known laws of physics.

It is telling that the company had also tried to patent the structure, but authorities asked them to explain how energy would be created and in the end concluded that such a structure would not be able to generate energy. Ever since this plan became public, many experts proved that it was not viable. One expert explained the project like rolling a rock up a hill, then letting it roll down on the other side. It does roll down on its own – but you have to invest energy into rolling it up there.

However, the project was given a huge grant, and, according to a press release from the company, the project was successfully concluded and they received HUF 247 million. The press release does not include any photos, technical specifications or hard data about the project. Also, the grant proposal has been since deleted from the government website that lists all projects that got EU funds.

Secrecy everywhere

The real question is: how could such a project be awarded such a huge amount of money by Hungarian authorities? We filed our first request for information in spring 2016. We wanted to see the project documentation and read the opinion of the evaluation committee. We received the documentation within a month, but all details of the wonder-engine were scrubbed from them. After a while, we were told that they cannot send us the evaluation – because there is none. At the time, they argue, they were not required to write one.

This April we filed another request for information, asking for the same documents. This time, we were asked to pay for the work of the employees copying the documents. We did so, but all crucial information was scrubbed from the documents again. Their argument was that revealing technical details would hurt the business interests of the company. That is, we still have no idea how, if at all, the wonder-machine works.

However, we did find something on the web page of Halna-Duna Kft.: photos of brand new and state-of-the-art construction equipment supposedly purchased for the implementation of this project. The value of the equipment is HUF 300 million. This raises the question: was this just a scheme to help the company purchase new equipment for its own use? thinks that the public has the right to know what the company used all those EU funds for, and that is why we are suing the Ministry of Economy for the details. We hope to get the documents by the end of this year.

Written by András Becker

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