Gazprom secures additional gas volumes for Serbia, says country’s deputy prime minister – Business & Economy
BELGRADE, February 1. /TASS/. The energy supply situation in Serbia remains stable, with the Russian company Gazprom having obtained additional gas volumes, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlovic said on Tuesday.
She was speaking at a ceremony marking the start of the construction of a gas interconnector between Bulgaria and Serbia.
“The energy situation is stable, if we talk about Serbia, mainly thanks to the work of the government and the provision of the necessary funds. Of course, part of the electricity consumed is imported and will be in the next few years. Additional gas volumes were supplied by Gazprom, so we have enough electricity, gas, thermal energy, and this will be in the coming months,” the minister said.
“We are living in a period of unprecedented pandemic and energy crisis. If we had not opened our section of the Balkan Stream on January 1, 2021, connected to Bulgaria to receive another source from where we take Russian gas, we would have encountered this winter in cold houses, our economy would suffer, because there would certainly not be enough gas and prices would be much higher The fact that we accelerated the construction of the Balkan Stream in 2020, investing 1 5 billion euros, gave energy security and stability today,” said Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic.
The Prime Minister also noted that Serbia is working on the diversification of gas sources, thus creating an opportunity to also receive liquefied natural gas. Brnabic stressed the importance of an interconnection between Bulgaria and Serbia, which will allow Serbia “to receive liquefied gas from Greece, gas from Azerbaijan and any other source”.
“We are creating a diversification of gas sources, which will allow us to have price competition,” said the Prime Minister.
About the project
The gas interconnector between Bulgaria and Serbia should be ready by October 2023. The total cost of the project is 85.5 million euros. Sources of funding include a €25 million loan from the European Investment Bank, €49.6 million in grant aid from EU funds, and €10.3 million allocated by the Serbian budget and 600,000 euros by Srbiyagaz. The capacity of the interconnection will be 1.8 billion cubic meters per year.
On January 1, 2021, Gazprom started supplying gas to Serbia via a new route. The gas is transported from Russia via the TurkStream offshore pipeline and further through Turkey. After that, it is transported to Serbia through Bulgaria’s national gas transmission system. The length of the section passing through the territory of Serbia is 403 km, and the nominal capacity is 13.9 billion cubic meters per year.
Gas supply negotiations
Earlier, President Aleksandar Vucic said that Serbia expects to receive additional volumes of gas from Russia in January-February 2022.
“I think that we will receive from our Russian partners a larger quantity for January and February 2022 than expected, so that we will receive an incomparably lower price even for this additional quantity, which was not discussed earlier and which we didn’t need in 2020 and 2021,” said the Serbian leader. Vucic said that every day Serbia has to buy 2 to 5 million cubic meters of gas. On November 25, 2021, following talks between Putin and Vucic in Sochi, Russia kept Serbia’s gas price at $270 for six winter months. After that, Belgrade will receive favorable terms from Moscow under a long-term contract. According to the Serbian leader, these conditions are exceptional.