Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Djedovic said that the gas interconection between Serbia and Bulgaria will be completed in the first two weeks of November. She added that works on the gas interconnector entered the final phase, with 98% of the works have been executed so far.
It is expected construction to be completed in the first two weeks of November and the Ministry can start obtaining the required authorizations to ensure that the gas pipeline will go into operation over the following weeks. Djedovic pointed out that the gas interconnector with Bulgaria is of strategic importance for Serbia as it will diversify gas supply sources.
Interconnector will enable the country to link up with gas from Azerbaijan and the LNG terminal in Greece via Bulgaria, in addition to Russia, which is an important and steady source of gas supplies. The Government is negotiating with an Azerbaijani company and until the end of November expect to sign a memorandum of understanding with Azerbaijan’s Energy Ministry, as well as a sales agreement between the Azerbaijani supplier and Srbijagas.
Djedovic expects that the supply of natural gas via the interconnector will start before the end of the year. The Serbian section of the pipeline is 109 kilometers long, and the total length of the two-way gas pipeline through both states is 170 kilometers, from Novi Iskar near Sofia to Nis. The gas pipeline has a capacity of 1.8 billion cubic meters of gas a year.
The total value of the Serbian section is 85.5 million euros, of which the European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided 25 million euros in the form of a loan, 49.6 million euros are EU grants from the IPA funds, whereas the remaining costs will be covered from the budget of Serbia and Srbijagas’ own funds.