Eastern gas interconnection project crucial for ensuring gas supply security in Republika Srpska

The Head of the Gas Department in the Ministry of Energy and Mining of Republika Srpska, Maja Mrkić Bosančić, believes that the Eastern Gas Interconnection Project is crucial for ensuring greater gas supply security. The project involves constructing a main gas pipeline from the border with Serbia, passing through Bijeljina, Brčko, Banja Luka, and Novi Grad, with branches to Prijedor and Doboj. Additionally, it includes building a gas distribution network in cities and municipalities along the pipeline route, as well as two gas-fired heating plants.

Bosančić expects the earlier decision by the Council of Ministers to initiate negotiations for the interconnection between Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia to be implemented. She considers it a significant step towards realizing this project. The Energy Development Strategy of Republika Srpska until 2035, along with the necessary legal legislation and amendments to the Spatial Plan, already incorporates this gas project.

Meanwhile, Milos Šolaja, a professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Banja Luka, emphasizes the energy crisis faced by Bosnia and Herzegovina and the world, particularly due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. He believes that focusing on renewable energy sources is essential, as Bosnia and Herzegovina encounters challenges in various energy policy aspects, including energy sources and transport routes.

Regarding the FBiH’s opposition to the eastern gas interconnection with Serbia, Šolaja suggests that political reasons prevail over EU principles of diversification and supply security. He mentions that an agreement in principle was reached at the Council of Ministers, but remains skeptical until the project is actually implemented.

Dusan Proroković, the Head of the Belgrade Center for Eurasian Studies at the Institute for International Politics and Economy, expresses doubts about Europe’s economic future due to high energy prices that are expected to persist for at least five years. Serbia, on the other hand, aims to become a regional distributor of Russian gas and strengthen its connections in the region.

Various stakeholders, including representatives from the Ministry of Energy and Mining of Republika Srpska, gas sector experts, the Commission for Concessions of Republika Srpska, analysts, professors, and representatives from the “Center for Lobbying” association, are participating in the scientific-professional conference.

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