In March 2019 begins on the territory of Serbia the construction of the gas pipeline that will connect with the Turkish stream pipeline. Serbia’s Public Gas Corporation (SrbijaGas) Director Dushan Bajatovic said work on the construction of the pipeline from the Bulgarian to the Hungarian border will begin in the first half of March in 2019 and will be completed by 2020.
The section of the pipeline across Serbia will be 403 kilometers long and will cost about 1.8 billion euros. Its funding will be secured by private funds, and this is the reason why, within this month, a call for expressions of interest will be announced by companies wishing to exploit the pipeline for 20 years, Dushan Bajatovic said in an interview with a private television channel. He also said that in an informal procedure of expression of interest, Serbian SrbijaGas, Russian GasProm, Hungarian MET, as well as major European gas companies, have been registered to participate.
Mr Bajatovic said that “the implementation of the pipeline project to be connected to Turkish Stream has respected European and Serbian legislation, the economic efficiency criteria of the project have been met, and only political interventions could have stopped it”.
After canceling the construction of the Russian South Stream pipeline in 2014, due to the objections expressed by the EU, Serbia is trying to join new projects that will provide it with energy security on the one hand, while on the other place the country in a transit gas hub.
The European Energy Committee had at the time dismissed the project because GasProm was the owner of the majority shareholding in South Stream, while it was also the gas producer, something that is not permitted by European law.
In the case of connection with Turkish Stream, the Serbian government approved a different ownership regime for the pipeline where no gas production company can hold the majority share package. This proposal was submitted to the EU Energy Committee in early December and is expected to be reviewed by 5 February 2019./IBNA