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Bulgaria and Serbia to accelerate the gas interconnection construction

A joint working group will be set up between Bulgaria and Serbia to accelerate at the operational level the gas interconnection construction between the two countries. This was agreed by the Minister of Energy of Bulgaria, Temenuzhka Petkova and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy of Serbia, Zorana Mihajlovic.

“The construction of the interconnector with Serbia is a priority in the government’s management programme in the energy sector,” highlighted Minister Petkova.

She emphasised the role of the interconnection for the security of gas supply at competitive prices in the whole region.

“It is no coincidence that the project is of common interest to the EU,” she said, reminding that funding for its implementation was provided in the amount of 27 million euros under the Connecting Europe Facility and 2.7 million euros under Operational Programme Innovation and Competitiveness.

The Executive Director of Bulgartransgaz, Vladimir Malinov recalled that the procedure for the selection of a contractor for the construction activities is currently underway.

“Eleven applicants have submitted documents for participation in the competition, there are international companies among them,” he said. “We expect construction activities to commence in May.”

According to him, project implementation will provide an opportunity for Serbia to receive gas also from the terminal near Alexandroupolis, where the Western neighbours have also requested capacity.

Ms Mihajlovic informed that a tender procedure for the selection of a gas pipeline construction company on Serbian territory will be announced next week. The participants in the meeting agreed that the three projects – the interconnections with Greece and Serbia and the liquefied natural gas terminal near Alexandroupolis are being constructed in synergy and are beneficial for the entire region.

The gas pipeline network of Interconnection Bulgaria-Serbia is about 62 kilometres length on the Bulgarian territory and 108 kilometres on the Serbian’s. Following its construction, the gas interconnection will have about 1.8 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year throughput capacity with the capability of reverse flow as well. It is expected to be completed by May 2022.

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