BELGRADE, February 1. /TASS/. Serbia will become a gas transit country for other countries in the Western Balkans thanks to the intersystem gas pipeline between Serbia and Bulgaria, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told reporters on Wednesday.
"As you know, we built our 402 km long central gas pipeline a year and a half ago, but we need additional volumes of gas, so the interconnector with Bulgaria is important to receive gas from other sources. <...> Unlike a significant part of Europe, Serbia is conducting re-industrialization, not de-industrialization, so we will need more gas. Through this gas pipeline, 1.8 billion cubic meters of gas per year can flow to Serbia, and it is two-way <...>. Thus, through our part of the gas pipeline we will be able to supply other countries in the Western Balkans, we will become a transit country for them, like Bulgaria is for us," Vucic said.
He noted that the new gas pipeline will connect Serbia with Bulgaria, Greece and other EU countries and will make it possible to receive gas from Azerbaijan.
The Serbian President is now in Bulgaria on an official visit and he has visited the construction site in Kostinbrod, not far from the capital of Sofia, where the construction of a gas pipeline between Serbia and Bulgaria on the territory of Bulgaria started on Wednesday.
On February 1, 2022, a ceremony was held to launch the construction of a gas interconnector between Bulgaria and Serbia. As Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said at that ceremony, it will allow the country "to accept liquefied gas from Greece, gas from Azerbaijan and from any other sources."
The gas interconnector between Bulgaria and Serbia is expected to be completed by October 2023. The total cost of the project is 85.5 million euros, of which 25 million euros is a loan from the European Investment Bank, 49.6 million euros is non-repayable assistance from EU funds, 10.3 million euros are allocated from the Serbian budget and 600,000 euros are provided by Srbijagas. The capacity of the interconnector will be 1.8 billion cubic meters of gas per year.