Bulgaria and Serbia gave start to gas interconnector

The construction of the Bulgaria-Serbia interconnector is an important step for the entire region and gives us the opportunity to start building a vision for our common future. This was emphasized by the President of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev who today together with the President of Serbia, Alexander Vucic, launched the construction activities on the project “Bulgaria-Serbia Intersystem Gas Connection on Bulgarian Territory” (IBS). 

The IBS (Interconnector Bulgaria – Serbia) gas pipeline project which is reversible according to the Bulgarian president is proof of how the cooperation of the European Commission can lead to common benefits for the countries. In particular it will contribute to the diversification of sources and providing citizens with affordable energy. Radev drew attention to the fact that through the interconnector, our country will gain access to European markets and Serbia

Bulgaria has proven itself as a reliable transit country.  The gas connection in our region is not an ordinary thing. It also means security. This is the path to a peaceful and prosperous environment in our region.

Rumen Radev, President of Bulgaria

the Bulgarian president also pointed out, not forgetting to express his gratitude to the European Commission for the support provided for the project.

The importance of the interconnector was also emphasized by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic who emphasized the fact that it was the first time that Serbia received such a large amount of European funding. As is known, the Serbian side received a total of about 75 million European funding for the construction of this infrastructure project.

It was to the importance and benefits of the reverse gas flow that the executive director of Bulgartransgaz Vladimir Malinov drew attention. He specified to journalists that through the gas connection with Serbia our country will gain access to the Central European markets to the Austrian gas hub (Baumgarten b.r.), which is also among the most liquid on the Old Continent. In addition, the several municipalities through which the route of the gas pipeline passes will also be gasified. On the Bulgarian side, the new interconnector will start in the area of ​​the town of Novi Iskar and continue towards the Serbian border, passing through several municipalities such as Kostinbrod and Slivnica. In Serbia, the pipeline route will pass by Dimitrovgrad, Pirot and reach Nis. The total length of the interconnector is about 170 km, and for the Serbian part of the project, the pipes are already being installed. The gas pipeline will be ready in October this year.

As for the Serbian side, Malinov reminded that IBS gives Serbia the opportunity to get access to the LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis in which the company has a stake and in which the Serbian side already has reserved capacity. In addition, thanks to the Bulgarian agreement with the Turkish side, Serbia will also be able to access the Turkish LNG terminals. The executive director of Bulgartransgaz also explained that the company had encountered difficulties in the supply of the linear infrastructure, but already “5,500 pipes”, made in India, have been delivered to the site.

Funding for the construction of the Bulgarian part of the gas pipeline will come in three directions: EUR 27 million is free European funding, EUR 49 million is provided through the guarantee agreement with ING Bank, which must be ratified by the National Assembly. The rest of the funds will be Bulgartransgaz’s own financing.

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