Serbia’s Mining and Energy Ministry reported on Wednesday (15 November) that Azerbaijani state-owned SOCAR and Serbian state-owned Srbijagas have signed a contract for the delivery of up to 400 million cubic metres of gas from Azerbaijan to Serbia by the end of next year.
During a state visit to Baku by Serbian Mining and Energy Ministry Dubravka Đedović Handanović on Wednesday, a memorandum of understanding was also signed deepening energy ties between Serbia and Azerbaijan.
“Serbia and Azerbaijan have strategic cooperation, thanks to the friendly relations and mutual respect of the two presidents, Aleksandar Vučić and Ilham Aliyev. By signing today’s memorandum, we have deepened the bilateral cooperation between Serbia and Azerbaijan in the field of energy and ensured the supply of gas from this country in quantities of up to 400 million cubic metres of gas per year until 2026, while after that we can also supply one billion cubic metres of gas from this country,” said Minister Đedović Handanović.
Minister Đedović Handanović said that the signed memorandum “opens up” other possibilities for cooperation between the two countries, such as the delivery of liquefied natural gas through LNG terminals in Turkey and Greece, as well as potential cooperation on the development of capacities for the construction of gas power plants and gas storage facilities.
“After the completion of the Balkan Stream gas pipeline, which provided additional security and opened a new direction of supply, we are now achieving the strategic goal of diversifying suppliers and additionally strengthening our position as a transit country for supplying gas to the countries of Central Europe,” said the Serbian minister. “We expect the completion of the Serbia-Bulgaria gas interconnection in the coming days, which will also fulfil the infrastructural prerequisites for a new source of gas supply.”
Serbia’s total consumption of gas is expected to increase from around three billion cubic metres of gas in 2022 to around four billion cubic metres by 2030, the Serbian minister highlighted. “The memorandum and the contract signed today allow us to count on larger quantities of gas and more suppliers, which will bring us greater security in the supply of our citizens and the economy. Also, after the completion of the gas interconnector to Bulgaria, we are planning new interconnections, primarily to North Macedonia,” she said.
Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov said that with the “strategically important” documents signed on Wednesday have established the basis for multilateral cooperation in gas, including, the delivery of gas from Azerbaijan to Serbia for the first time.
“Serbia is a new partner of Azerbaijan in the diversification of the gas market in Europe. Based on gas deliveries to Serbia in the amount of up to 400 million cubic metres of gas per year, the number of countries that will be supplied with Azerbaijani gas has increased to eight. This is a clear indication that Azerbaijan is expanding its mission, that it plays the role of a reliable energy partner that contributes more and more significantly to energy security, said Minister Shahbazov.
“Today’s agreements also pave the way for the establishment of a sustainable partnership in the field of gas supply, in accordance with long-term contracts and Azerbaijan’s contribution to Serbia’s energy security,” the Azerbaijani minister added.