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BELGRADE (Serbia), November 28 (SeeNews) - Serbia's Gastrans is seeking the green light from the government's energy agency for to build the section of the TurkStream pipeline for transit of Russian natural gas to Europe on the country's territory, the head of state-owned monopoly Srbijagas, Dusan Bajatovic, said.
An application for the approval of the project has also been submitted to the Energy Community which has 60 days to respond, Bajatovic said in an interview for private broadcaster TV Prva on Tuesday, according to a video file of the interview posted on the website of news portal B92.
Gastrans is 100%-owned by Swiss-based South Stream Serbia, according to data from Serbia's commercial register. Russia's Gazprom owns a 51% stake in South Stream Serbia, while Srbijagas holds the remaining 49%, according to Gazprom data.
Bulgaria and Serbia plan to launch an auction for binding bids for transit of natural gas through the future leg of TurkStream pipeline on their territories around December 15, Bajatovic said.
"Everything is ready for the construction of the gas pipeline," Bajatovic said.
Earlier this year, Gastrans said it has received non-binding bids for the import of 9.079 billion kWh per day into Serbia for the 2019-2039 period. The company received non-binding bids for the transit of a total of 5.258 kWh per day of natural gas to Hungary in 2019-2039 as part of a market test carried out in April for the boking of capacity in a gas pipeline that will connect Bulgaria and Hungary via the Serbian territory.
Gazprom plans to build the string of the TurkStream pipeline for transit of Russian gas to Europe on the territory of Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovakia, Russian daily Kommersant reported last week, quoting documents of gas transmission system operators from those countries.
Bulgaria expects to receive an official letter from Gazprom about the Russian company's plan for the construction of a string of the TurkStream pipeline through Bulgarian territory, a Bulgarian government official said last week.
In December 2014, Russia abandoned - over objections from the European Commission- its plans to build the South Stream gas pipeline designed to carry Russian gas under the Black Sea to Bulgaria and from there to central and southern Europe but said it is ready to build another pipeline system to Turkey instead (TurkStream).
The TurkStream offshore gas pipeline, to stretch for 930 km across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey, consist of two parallel strings with annual throughput capacity of 15.75 billion cubic metres of gas each. One string is intended for consumers in Turkey, while the second will carry gas to customers in southern and southeastern Europe.