Mihajlovic: Serbia-Bulgaria gas interconnector for greater energy security of the country
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy, Prof. Zorana Mihajlovic, PhD, attended today the signing of the Loan Agreement of the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the project of building a gas interconnection Serbia-Bulgaria and said that it means for Serbia the real realization of this project worth 160 million euros, totaling 170 km through both states.
"Thank you to the European Union and the EIB for their support and excellent cooperation in everything we do. For us, the gas interconnection between Serbia and Bulgaria means the gas stability that we will have as a country, and that in addition to the diversification of routes, we are also thinking about the diversification of suppliers in the gas sector. In 2021, we will make important decisions regarding the energy transition, to turn more to clean energy sources, to build gas and power plants from renewable sources. The construction of this gas pipeline will significantly increase the energy security not only of Serbia, but also of the region, "she said.
The Minister of Finance, Sinisa Mali, pointed out that this is one of the six priority projects defined by the EU when it comes to the energy connection of Central and Southeast Europe. "This gas interconnector will not only provide the citizens of Serbia with a secure supply of gas in sufficient quantities, because our economy is developing more and more, but we will also diversify routes in this way, thus providing an additional type of independence." This project is part of the great investment plan of Serbia 2020-2025, it is also important for the environment because natural gas is a better source of energy than boiler rooms and fuel oil, and as a construction project it will contribute to the growth of our economy and GDP, "said Mali. "This is a big step forward towards the realization of a high-priority project that has several far-reaching goals.
First, increased diversification and security of energy supply in Serbia. Second, strengthening regional cooperation to contribute to well-balanced socio-economic development. And third, the pursuit of an energy transition and a healthier environment. I welcome this project as a key part of Serbia's broader strategy for completing the ongoing liberalization of the gas sector, an important commitment to Serbia's further progress in EU accession negotiations, "said the Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Ambassador Sem Fabrizi.
"The European Investment Bank supports the energy transition in Serbia and around the world. As part of the EIB's lending policy for energy agreed in 2019, we have committed to support several selected gas projects that are already under evaluation, before we move on to lending, only from renewable sources from the end of 2021. Therefore, the EIB is pleased to provide 25 million euros to support the construction of the Serbian side of this interconnector, a priority project for the European Union, and an initiative to connect gas to Central and Southeast Europe, which contributes to a strong, prosperous and developing Serbia, a common goal. With this investment, we confirm the importance of supporting the energy transition in Serbia and the entire region, "said Liliana Pavlova, Vice President of the European Investment Bank.