Investment plan

Serbian Vucic presents €12bn energy investment plan after oil ban –

Faced with a ban on crude oil imports from Russia via Croatia, Serbia plans to invest 12 billion euros in energy infrastructure over six years to diversify and secure supply, President Aleksandar Vučić has said.

In a public speech over the weekend, following the EU’s decision to ban the transport of Russian oil through its territory, Vučić said it was “clear that Serbia will now pay more for oil over the next two years” and will have to diversify its sources.

“Diversification of sources and transport routes means the start of construction of a 128-kilometer pipeline from Novi Sad [in northern Serbia] in Hungary,” he said. The Serbian oil company NIS, majority owned by Russia’s Gazprom, has two refineries, in Pančevo and Novi Sad.

“This project will cost about 100 million euros,” Vučić announced, without specifying when it might be completed, but added: “Over the next six years, we will invest 12 billion euros in energy infrastructure because the energy is the blood of a country.”

Part of this plan is a pipeline south through North Macedonia to the Albanian port of Drac, as well as another refinery with the capacity to refine oil from Venezuela, Iran and other countries, he said.

Gas interconnections are also on the table.

Energy and Mines Minister Zorana Mihajlović said earlier this month that Serbia, which currently imports almost all of its gas from Russia, is building an interconnector with Bulgaria, while others are also planned for North Macedonia, Albania, Croatia and Romania.

(Zoran Radosavljevic |