Serbia and Gazprom sign deal to build gas pipeline

Dec 20, 2006 01:00 AM

Gazprom and Serbian officials have signed an agreement to build a $ 1.3 bn gas pipeline in the former Yugoslav republic, officials said.
The 400-km gas pipeline across Serbia, from its border with Bulgaria to the frontier with Croatia, will be built in about two years, with work in Serbia to begin in 2007, Serbian Economy Minister Predrag Bubalo said. The pipeline is designed to carry 20 bn cm of gas per year, and eventually span a large swathe of South-eastern Europe.

Bubalo said: “This deal offers numerous advantages for our country -- we will no longer be at the end of the pipeline and will not depend on countries through which it passes.” Serbia expects income from the project in the form of transit fees, in addition to money earned from construction and maintenance of the pipeline, he added.
Gazprom and Serbia will form a working group to examine and determine final details of the agreement, officials said.

Serbian Energy and Mining Minister Radomir Naumov, who signed the deal inMoscow, told that the southern Serbian city of Nis, would be a “central gas point” for the project.
“The pipeline should lead to a wide gasification of the southern and north-eastern parts of Serbia, all the way to Kosovo,” a Serbian province administered by the United Nations, Naumov said in the Russian capital. He had said earlier that the pipeline would ultimately be linked to the Bluestream pipeline, which is to run from Russia to Turkey under the Black Sea.

Source / AFX
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