Belgrade, December 12 - Neftegaz.RU. Serbia hopes to start the construction of its section of the TurkStream pipeline for transit of Russian natural gas to Europe in March next year, said the Head of state-owned monopoly Srbijagas, Dusan Bajatovic, Seenews reported.
«Srbijagas is already in contacts with companies which build 1,000 km of pipelines annually and the construction in Serbia is expected to start between March 1 and 15, 2019» Bajatovic said. Construction works are expected to take 7 to 8 months to complete, he added.
Last month, Bajatovic said Serbia has applied for the construction of the pipeline section on its territory with the Energy Community, which has 60 days to respond. The Energy Community has already received the answers of the Serbian energy regulator on 43 questions related to the project and is expected to announce whether it approves the construction of the pipeline by the end of January, Bajatovic said.
The project is carried out under the rules of the Third Energy Package and there are no legal or economic reasons for it to fail, Bajatovic noted. «Therefore, the 2020 deadline for the completion of the construction is realistic,» he said.
Srbijagas is currently in talks with a number of banks on options for financing the project, which will most likely be carried out by a syndicate of commercial lenders, Bajatovic said.
Russia's Gazprom plans to build a string of TurkStream for transit of gas to Europe from Turkey via Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovakia. One string is intended for consumers in Turkey, while the 2nd will carry gas to customers in Europe.