A branch of the TurkStream pipeline that will deliver Russian natural gas into Turkey as well as southern and southeastern Europe will begin to be built in Serbia next month, the country’s energy minister Aleksandar Antic has said after the Serbian energy regulator has given final approval for the construction.
“On March 5 the Energy Agency of the Republic of Serbia made the final decision and responded positively to the Gastrans statement for the implementation of the project,” Antic announced on Thursday, according to Novi Magazin. He added that works on the project are set to start in April.
Serbia’s gas transport operator Gastrans is responsible for laying the gas transportation branch from Bulgaria to Hungary. The company is owned by Swiss-based South Stream Serbia, of which Russia’s energy giant Gazprom holds a 51-percent stake. Serbian gas company Srbijagas holds the remaining 49 percent.
Earlier in the day, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic noted the importance of implementing the gas pipeline project at a meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov in Belgrade.
Russia and Turkey officially agreed on the TurkStream, which consists of two lines with annual capacity of 31.5 billion cubic meters, in October 2016. The first branch will deliver Russian natural gas directly to Turkey, while the second stretches to the Turkish-European border to reach European customers.