The Serbian government made a final decision to start the construction of the gas pipeline that will pass from Bulgaria to Hungary through the territory of the country, stated Minister of Mining and Energy of Serbia Aleksandar Antić, the local Kurir newspaper reported.
The customer for the construction of the gas pipeline is Gastrans d.o.o. Novi Sad (51% and 49% of which are owned by Gazprom and Serbiagas, respectively). The pipeline will be 400 km long and will have a capacity of 13.88 billion cubic meters of gas annually.
The gas pipeline, which will pass through Serbia, will be the continuation of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline. In July 2018, Alexey Miller, the head of Russian gas conglomerate Gazprom, assumed that one of the lines of the Turkish Stream could be laid through Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary, which would allow supplying Russian gas to European countries.
Presumably, it will be possible to supply gas through this route at the beginning of 2020.
In February, RBC reported that Gazprom had given a major contract for the construction of the continuation of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline in Serbia to its own contractor, Gazstroiprom. In order to finish construction on time, construction work has already been launched, “the way we usually do,” the RBC source said. According to him, the gas pipeline is being built by Gazstroiprom’s engineering subsidiary, SGK-1. Another source of RBC informed that people are and Gazstroiprom equipment are being transferred to Serbia.
The route of the Serbia-Bulgaria-Hungary gas pipeline almost repeats the path of the South Stream gas pipeline․ A few years ago, Russia tried to lay this pipeline along the bottom of the Black Sea but was unable to do so because of pressure from the United States and Bulgaria’s refusal to issue a building permit in December 2014.
In January, Russian President Vladimir Putin estimated the investments for Serbia for the construction of this pipeline at 1.4 billion rubles.