NIS, Serbia, December 10. A ceremony was held in Niš, Serbia to launch the Serbia-Bulgaria Gas Interconnector, which will provide access to Azerbaijani natural gas, Trend reports.
The project of building the gas interconnector Niš– Dimitrovgrad – Bulgaria is financed partly through EU grants, in the amount of 49.6 million euros, as well as 25 million euros of a favourable loan from the European Investment Bank that Serbia will pay for the part of the gas pipeline passing through Serbia. The Republic of Serbia has allocated 15 million euros and 7.5 million euros for preparatory work and the design.
Gas supply is important for citizens and economy. Gas secures partly the heating for homes as well as functioning of numerous industries. Currently, gas is responsible for 13 percent of Serbia’s primary energy consumption and Serbia can receive it only from two entry points – through the Balkan Stream pipeline and from Hungary. The gas interconnector, connecting gas networks of Serbia and Bulgaria, will boost the diversification of energy sources in Serbia and the Western Balkan region, allowing Serbia more secure and stable supply from different gas network systems, notably from Azerbaijan and to the future LNG Alexandroupoli terminal in Greece that can receive gas from all over the world.
The new gas interconnector will connect the existing Serbian network in Niš with the Bulgarian network in the capital Sofia, stretching for 109 km on the Serbian side. With the pipe diameter of 700 mm and maximum pressure of 55 bar, its capacity will allow for the transfer of 1.8 billion cubic metres of natural gas annually, equivalent to 60 percent of Serbia’s total annual consumption.
Besides Niš, the pipeline will also include 3 other gas metering and regulation stations in Bela Palanka, Pirot and Dimitrovgrad, allowing thus for these three cities and regions of Serbia – their citizens, schools, hospitals, businesses, to have access to gas supply, for heating and industrial production. Construction work started in January 2022.