EIB lends 25 million euros to Serbia for gas link with Bulgaria
BELGRADE (Serbia), May 20 (SeeNews) – The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed an agreement to grant a 25 million euros ($ 30.5 million) loan to Serbia for the construction of the gas pipeline Nis-Dimitrovgrad of 109 km connecting the Bulgarian gas distribution system, the lender said on Thursday.
The loan complements a € 49.5 million grant from the EU Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) for the project and will diversify Serbia’s energy supply and strengthen energy networks by South East Europe (SEE), the EIB said in a statement.
“As part of the EIB’s energy lending policy agreed in 2019, we have committed to supporting a few selected gas projects already under appraisal, before moving to exclusively renewable loans from the end of 2021. C ‘that is why the EIB is happy to provide 25 million euro to support the construction of the Serbian side of this interconnection, ”noted EIB Vice-President responsible for lending operations in Serbia, Lilyana Pavlova.
With this investment, the EIB confirms the importance of supporting the energy transition in Serbia and across the region, Pavlova added.
“The Nis-Dimitrovgrad pipeline, which is expected to start construction this year so that the pipeline can become operational by 2023, will allow Serbia to source natural gas from other suppliers – from LNG terminals in Greece, from TAP gas and TANAP pipelines that are part of the southern gas corridor, and possibly the eastern Mediterranean gas pipeline, with gas from the Leviathan field (Cyprus and Israel), “Serbian Minister of Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic said.
The interconnection between Bulgaria and Serbia is one of the priority projects of the High Level Group on Energy Connectivity in Central and South Eastern Europe (CESEC), established by the EU in 2015 to facilitate early completion cross-border and cross-border projects. European projects that diversify the region’s gas supplies. In October, the European Commission approved a grant of around 28 million euros for the construction of the Bulgarian section of the gas link.
($ = 0.8187 euros)