Turkish Stream, a gas alternative for Serbia

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic is on a working visit to Turkey on July 10, to meet with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and attend the 22nd World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul.

The Office of the Serbian President had announced earlier that Vucic was scheduled to meet with Erdogan on July 10.

The World Petroleum Congress, hosted by Istanbul this year, is the world’s largest event in the gas and oil industry. The premier oil and gas forum will take place from July 9 to July 13, bringing together more than 6,000 delegates, 50 ministers and nearly 25,000 visitors.

Serbian infrastructure minister Zorana Mihajlovic said on Friday the country is interested in joining Russia’s Turkish Stream gas pipeline project, as it needs a second route for natural gas imports to ensure the stability of its energy system.

Serbia needs to take advantage of both the interconnector with Bulgaria and the possibility of joining Turkish Stream, Mihajlovic said in a video file posted on the website of Serbian news agency Tanjug. 

“We know that we are unstable in terms of natural gas and we have economic growth. Therefore, we need to think about the demand for energy products,” Mihajlovic told reporters in the video file.

Landlocked Serbia imports 82% of the gas it needs from Russia through a pipeline crossing Hungary and Ukraine. The rest comes from domestic sources.

The government has to analyse whether it is more profitable to rely on keeping natural gas in some storage facility in Europe or to join large international projects, Mihajlovic added. 

Last month, Russia’s Gazprom said it signed a roadmap agreement with Serbia’s energy minister for the expansion of the Balkan country’s gas transmission system.  

Russia has not revealed any plans of including Serbia in the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project so far. The pipeline will have a capacity of 63 billion cu m and will transport Russian gas to Turkey and Europe across the Black Sea.

Serbia’s government said in March that the gas link with Bulgaria should be completed by 2019 and become operational a year later. In January, Bulgaria signed a memorandum of understanding with Serbia for the construction of the 150 km pipeline that will link the gas transmission systems of the two countries.

(Beta, SeeNews, 09.07.2017)





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