Led by Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, the Company's delegation paid a visit to the Republic of Serbia today.
During the visit Alexey Miller held meetings with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic.
The parties discussed the Russian-Serbian cooperation in the energy sector and addressed the current status of and the prospects for the joint projects implementation.
A special attention was paid to the South Stream construction that would start in Serbia before the end of this year. It was pointed out that the relevance of this large-scale infrastructure project was already confirmed by the growing European demand for Russian natural gas. South Stream will secure the direct gas supply to European consumers, thus solving the issue of transit risks.
In 2012 Gazprom supplied Serbia with 1.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
Srbijagas is a state-owned company dealing with natural gas transmission, distribution and storage in Serbia.
For the purpose of diversifying natural gas export routes Gazprom is constructing a gas pipeline across the Black Sea to Southern and Central Europe ľ the South Stream project. Intergovernmental agreements are signed with Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia and Croatia in order to implement the onshore gas pipeline section.
In November 2009 the South Stream Serbia joint project company was registered. Gazprom holds a 51 per cent stake in the company and Srbijagas ľ a 49 per cent stake.
The Banatski Dvor UGS facility was ceremonially put onstream on November 21, 2011. The UGS facility, which will secure reliable gas supplies via South Stream, is one of the largest gas storages in Southeastern Europe. Its working gas capacity makes up 450 million cubic meters, maximum deliverability ľ 5 million cubic meters per day.
In October 2012 the final investment decision was approved for the South Stream project in Serbia.
In February 2013 the Skupstina of the Republic of Serbia adopted a Bill on Determining Public Interest and Special Expropriation Procedures and Acquisition of Documentation for South Stream Construction.
On March 27, 2013 a long-term contract was signed for Russian natural gas supply to Serbia in the amount of up to 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas annually for a period of 10 years. Gas will be conveyed via the existing route and in the future ľ via the South Stream gas pipeline.