The Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy, Dubravka Đedović, confirmed that her country will complete the construction of the gas interconnection with Bulgaria in the fall, during last week’s ministerial meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The latest gas infrastructure, jointly constructed by Bulgaria and Serbia, will connect the region to gas sources from Azerbaijan, the Caspian region, as well as to LNG terminals in Greece.
“Serbia became more actively involved in the Southern Gas Corridor project at a later stage, but we are working rapidly to become part of this large value chain, which will enable us to diversify our sources and provide greater security of supply,” said Minister Đedović.
“The construction of the gas interconnection in the direction of Serbia will be completed in the fall, and we expect the first gas deliveries at the beginning of 2024, which also depends on the speed of commercial negotiations of all involved parties. We hope that we will have maximum efficiency there as well so that the gas from Azerbaijan can flow in the direction of Serbia as soon as possible,” she added.
Last year, the Serbia-Bulgaria gas interconnection project received the status of “a project of special importance” in Serbia to ensure that the construction proceeds according to plan, Minister Đedović highlighted on a previous occasion.
The Mining and Energy Minister emphasised that Serbia and Azerbaijan have stronger bilateral ties, primarily thanks to the good relations between the presidents of the two countries, Aleksandar Vučić and Ilham Aliyev – with an “important expression” of those relations being cooperation in the area of energy. “During the visit to Baku, we will talk with our partners from Azerbaijan about the quantities and price of gas that we would get from the new gas interconnection, about the potential construction of gas power plants, as well as about the possibilities for securing additional amounts of electricity from Azerbaijan, which other countries in the EU are also working on,” the Minister said.
During the ministerial meeting, Minister Đedović said that Azerbaijani gas is already recognised as part of the solution for diversifying gas supply sources in Europe and that thanks to the new gas interconnections, it is becoming part of the solution for greater energy security in Serbia, as well as the region. “The construction of gas interconnections and better connections with neighbours opens up space for Serbia to not only improve its energy security but also to be a transit country through which Azerbaijani gas will reach other countries in the region and the EU,” said Ms Đedović.
In Baku, Minister Đedović also held a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Energy of Romania, Virgil Popescu to discuss energy cooperation, including working together in connection with the Đerdap hydropower plant and other relevant projects, development of transmission systems and possibilities for gas interconnections.