BELGRADE, 1 Oct – PRIME. The launch of an interconnector (connecting gas pipeline) for gas supplies to Serbia from Azerbaijan through Bulgaria may occur in the fall of 2023, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said.
The Serbian leader is present on Saturday at the opening of the interconnector between Greece and Bulgaria with a length of 182 kilometers. It stretches from the Greek city of Komotini to the Bulgarian Stara Zagora. The pipeline with a capacity of 3 billion cubic meters of gas per year with the possibility of increasing volumes up to 5 billion cubic meters is designed for gas from Azerbaijan within the framework of the Trans Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP) and the terminal for liquefied natural gas in Alexandroupoli.
Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Chuca, and North Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski are taking part in the event together with Vucic and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
“Serbia’s interconnection with Bulgaria will be completed in a year, and I hope that at the same time of the year in 2023 (year – ed.) we will be able to hold such a big ceremony in our country. Why is this so important to us? The price is very important, not only volumes, this is one of the questions. I am also sure that we will have more difficult autumn and winter than the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, just said, she must be an optimist, she is a very professional politician,” Vucic told the audience, broadcast led agency Tanyug.
According to him, in the future, with the support of the EU, it is planned to build a connecting gas pipeline between Serbia and North Macedonia.
Serbian authorities have previously announced a planned purchase from Azerbaijan in 2023 through a connecting gas pipeline with Bulgaria in volumes of 1.4 billion cubic meters per year. The EU previously allocated 50 million euros in subsidies, and the European Investment Bank a loan of 25 million euros for the construction of the 109 km Nis-Dimitrovgrad interconnector on Serbian territory. In Serbia, laying began on February 1 this year.
Russia is now the only supplier of natural gas to Serbia. Under a two-year agreement with Gazprom, official Belgrade has provided about 2.2 billion cubic meters a year, or 62% of its annual gas needs, and plans to reserve about 700 million cubic meters of gas for the winter on its territory and in Hungary.