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Italy's Saipem may sign deal with Gazprom for project in Serbia - report

Author Radomir Ralev
Italy's Saipem may sign deal with Gazprom for project in Serbia - report Stefano Cao; Source: Gazprom

BELGRADE (Serbia), April 18 (SeeNews) - Italy's Saipem may sign a contract with Russia's Gazprom for a project in Serbia if the two companies reach settlement over Gazprom's abandoned South Stream gas pipeline project, Italian news agency ANSA reported on Thursday.

The negotiations with Gazprom also provide for the involvement in the project of subsidiaries of the Russian company, such as Serbia's Gastrans, ANSA quoted Saipem CEO Stefano Cao as saying.

"Saipem is currently near completion of an engineering project for a gas pipeline in Serbia, while there is a separate tender for its construction," Cao said during the presentation of the financial results of the Italian company for 2018.

In July, Saipem said it has signed a contract related to the laying of pipes for the transportation of natural gas to Serbia. The contract envisages the provision of onshore engineering services and the acquisition of permits for construction works.

Last month, Gastrans invited binding bids for booking of capacity for the transit of natural gas via a planned pipeline in the country stretching from the border with Bulgaria to the border with Hungary. The total volume of available annual capacity is 395.2 GWh/day at the link with Bulgaria, 124.2 GWh/day at exit points in Serbia and 271.02 GWh/day at the interconnection with Hungary, Gastrans said.

Gastrans is 100%-owned by Swiss-based South Stream Serbia, according to data from Serbia's commercial register. Gazprom owns a 51% stake in South Stream Serbia, while Srbijagas holds the remaining 49%, according to Gazprom data.

In 2016, Saipem filed a 759 million euro ($853.4 million) claim against Gazprom at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris following the cancellation of the South Stream project for the construction of a pipeline for exports of Russian gas to Europe across the Black Sea and via Bulgaria.

($ = 0.889317 euro)