Test Operations Commenced on Gas Pipeline from Serbia to Bulgaria – It Will Secure 60% of Serbia’s Total Annual Consumption

Source: Beta Sunday, 10.12.2023. 13:49
Illustration (Photo: SergBob/shutterstock.com)Illustration
The Serbia-Bulgaria gas interconnector has been put into test operation at the metering-regulation station in Trupale near Nis. The ceremony on the occasion of the beginning of the works was attended by the president of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, the president of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev, and the head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Emanuele Giaufret.

Vucic said at the meeting with the presidents of Bulgaria and Azerbaijan that the commissioning of the interconnector, which would supply gas from Azerbaijan to Serbia, would secure a diversification and an alternative in gas supply and that, in the future, it would be a much more secure country regarding energy security.

Ilham Aliyev said that the personal friendships of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Serbia had contributed to the development of the economic cooperation of the two countries, which are strategic partners. He added that he was convinced that the interconnector would contribute to the industrial development of Serbia, as well as the energy security of Serbia and Bulgaria, but also the whole Europe.

– Serbia is the ninth European country to which gas from Azerbaijan is exported – said Aliyev.

Rumen Radev said that the interconnector was a symbol of the growing technological capacities and the successful and fertile cooperation of Serbia, Bulgaria and Azerbaijan.

– That cooperation leads to a sustainable economic growth of the region and the expression of the will to jointly build our European future – Radev said.

He added that the interconnector would contribute to increasing the interest in investing in the region.

According to Radev, the war in Ukraine had forced the countries to show more solidarity and to improve their cooperation.

Emanuele Giaufret said that, with the interconnector, Serbia connected itself with the EU and reduced the need for coal, and, with that, the environmental pollution as well.

– This interconnector is part of the overall support of the EU to the energy sector of Serbia and to ending Serbia’s dependence on Russian gas – he pointed out.

The minister of mining and energy of Serbia, Dubravka Djedovic Handanovic, said that there had been no hurry to complete the construction of the gas pipeline before the election slated for December 17, but so that energy security would be ensured for the economy and the citizens of Serbia for that winter season.

– The gas pipeline is important for the positioning of Serbia when it comes to the gas supply of central and eastern Europe – she said.

The construction of the gas pipeline of 109 kilometers from Nis to Dimitrovgrad took 12 months. The total length of the gas pipeline from Novi Iskar, near Sofia, to Nis is 170 kilometers, whereas the value of the works is EUR 85.5 million. The grant of the European Union for the construction of the gas pipeline is EUR 49.6 million, and the European Investment Bank approved a loan of EUR 25 million for Serbia for the part of the gas pipeline that goes through Serbia.

For the realization of the project, Serbia set aside EUR 15 million and EUR 7.5 million for the preparatory works and designing.

Gas comprises 13% of the consumption of primary energy in Serbia and, until now, could only be obtained from two entry points, through the Balkan Stream gas pipeline from Bulgaria and through the gas pipeline from Hungary.

The new gas interconnector will enable the transfer of 1.8 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year, which comprises 60% of the total annual consumption of Serbia. There will be three metering-regulation stations for gas on the power line route, in Bela Palanka, Pirot and Dimitrovgrad, which will enable these three cities to get access to gas as well. Serbia has signed the agreement on the interconnection with Bulgartransgaz and the commercial agreement on the supply of up to 400 million cubic meters of gas from Azerbaijan by the end of 2024.

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