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BELGRADE (Serbia), March 11 (SeeNews) - Serbia's Gastrans, a subsidiary of Swiss-based South Stream Serbia, said it has invited binding bids for booking of capacity for transit of natural gas via a planned section of the TurkStream pipeline that will connect Bulgaria and Hungary.
Companies that placed non-binding bids in the market test of the project carried out last year are now invited to submit binding bids for gas transit between January 1, 2020, and September 30, 2039, Gastrans said in a notice published on its website last week.
The deadline for submitting non-binding bids is March 18.
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.
Once the deadline has expired, Gastrans shall notify bidders on non-acceptance of their binding bids by March 23 and the other bidders on acceptance of their bids by March 29.
Last year, Gastrans received non-binding bids for the import of 9,139 GWh of natural gas via the link with Bulgaria and the transit of a total of 5,258 GWh per day of natural gas to Hungary in 2019-2039 as part of a market test for booking capacity in the pipeline on Serbian territory.
The Energy Community said in February Gastrans should offer on independent markets such as the South East European Power Exchange 30% of the natural gas it will receive through the future branch of Gazprom's TurkStream pipeline on its territory. The natural gas shall be offered on a quarterly basis and the price shall not be higher than the price defined in the long-term contract of the entity, the Energy Community said in a detailed opinion on the exemption.
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 state-owned Srbijagas holds the remaining 49%, according to Gazprom data.
Gazprom plans to build a string of its Turk Stream pipeline for transit of natural gas to Europe from Turkey via Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary. The future pipeline on the territory of Serbia, approximately 400 km in length, will link the Serbian natural gas transmission system to those of Bulgaria and Hungary.