Balkan Stream gas pipeline opens through Serbia

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balkanski tok otvaranje vuči bajatović
Source: TANJUG/ TARA RADOVANOVIC

The 403-kilometre-long main gas pipeline 'Balkan Stream,' with the Russian gas running from Zajecar in the east to Horgos in the north of Serbia, was opened on Friday.

„This is of crucial importance for Serbia’s further development; of great importance for the industry, Serbia’s economic progress and all our people,“ Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia’s President of Serbia, told the opening ceremony in the northern village of Gospodjinci.

He added Serbia would receive gas through the pipeline at a price of up to 155 Dollars per 1,000 cubic meters, with much lower transport costs than before. Also, Serbia will charge a transit tax, which will help pay for the pipeline’s construction.

The ‘Turkish Stream’ gas pipeline is a project of the Russian ‘Gazprom“ and the Turkish ‘BOTAŞ which would provide a stable gas supply to Turkey, southern and southeastern Europe, with a total length of 930 kilometres and 31.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

The first arm runs through Turkey, while the second branch goes to Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary. Serbia and Bulgaria call that part of the gas pipeline ‘Balkan Stream’. The capacity of each arm is 15.75 billion cubic meters.

The director of „Srbijagas“ Dusana Bajatovic said that up to six million cubic meters of gas would be released into Serbia immediately. Adding would supply the country from three points.

„Horgos will open for us, which means that we worked following all European principles. We will have access to Baumgarten (gas hub in Austria) and probably Nord Stream 1 and 2,“ Bajatovic said.

He added that everything was done following European norms and Energy Community requests, both technical and commercial.

Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Bocan-Harchenko agreed the construction of the gas pipeline ensured Serbia’s energy security.

„This gas pipeline will also provide energy security for the wider region, Central Europe,“ Harchenko said.