The construction of the gas interconnector between Bulgaria and Serbia has commenced in February; this will indeed help Serbia with adequate gas supplies. For now, Serbia has been importing gas from Russia.
According to the deal, the gas pipeline would supply 1.8 billion cubic metres (bcm) gas annually. Expectedly, the pipeline operation will be ready by October 2023, and will improve the energy supply in Serbia and nearby regions, according to the statement by Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, during the ceremony to mark the beginning of the construction.
Prime Minister emphasized that this gas interconnection with Bulgaria will benefit Serbia and provide a better life for everyone in the country by providing new investments and jobs.
European Union Head to Serbia Emanuele Giaufret said that this project is another step towards building relations between Serbia and the EU and will significantly contribute to the increase of gas in the household and industry.
He further thanked and stated that now because of the instalment of the gas connectors, Serbia will have more choices and will be less dependent on other sources.
The long-term gas supply contract was about to expire in November; at that time, President Aleksandar Vucic asked his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to increase the contract. Subsequently, Serbia continued to buy Russian gas for the next six months at the price of $270 per cubic metres.
The Bulgaria-Serbia interconnector has been declared as one of the seven priority projects within the CESEC Interconnection in Central and South-Eastern Europe initiative because it is the project of common interest for the Energy Community and the EU.
The project is worth €85.5 million. Of this, €25 million would be provided from the European Investment Bank (EIB) as a loan, €49.6 million from EU IPA Fund, €600,000 from Srbijagas and remaining €10.3 million from the Serbian budget.