One of the top tasks of the new Serbian administration, according to PM-designate Ana Brnabić, is to overhaul Serbia’s energy strategy. Belgrade would set aside 12 billion euros for this purpose in the upcoming year, Brnabić announced.
Among the most important energy-related development initiatives is the urgent construction and completion of the oil pipeline linking Serbia and Hungary, she confirmed.
Aiming for Stability and Growth
Ana Brnabić, the prime minister-designate spoke in front of the National Assembly members on Tuesday. The Serbian Progressive Party’s nominee for prime minister outlined the accomplishments of her previous government, emphasizing improvements in pandemic-related health care, the effective purchase of vaccines, the boosting of the country’s economic performance and the of lowering unemployment.
Brnabić then also took stock of the challenges facing Serbia. She specifically addressed the issues around Kosovo, the need to move forward regarding EU membership, and the importance of building strong partnerships with both the West and the East. She added that one of Serbia’s main objectives was to change the country’s energy strategy, which would help boost the economy. She emphasized that science and education will continue to play a significant part in this process.
‘We will need all of our skills and resources, and we must be bold, try out novel ideas, shift our perspectives, and be open to innovation. We must show that we can accomplish the same goals in this field as we did in health care,’ Brnabić stressed.
Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, finding energy carriers has become a top priority for nations. According to reports, Serbia is ready for the winter and prices there have not increased as much as they have in the West. This is partially due to the fact that the nation only meets a small portion of its energy needs with Russian gas, with the majority of its electricity coming from coal- and hydroelectric-powered plants. Serbia has a three-year agreement with Russia for the purchase of the necessary gas, under which it will pay both market prices and a discounted rate. Despite this, the nation is working to increase its capacity for self-sufficiency and to have as many options as possible when buying energy sources.
Additionally, Brnabić also informed lawmakers that Serbia can anticipate new capabilities as early as next year. Both the construction of the Bulgarian gas pipeline and the B3 block of the Kostolac thermal power plant will be finished by then. Serbia will be able to purchase LNG from ships delivering it to Greek ports thanks to this pipeline. It is also possible that new hydroelectric power facilities will be built, she added.
The Pipeline Is a Priority
Following discussions with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in September, it was Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić who announced the building of the new pipeline. The pipeline will be a significant alternative for Serbia in terms of oil procurement. The JANAF pipeline, which passes through Croatia and currently transports raw materials to Serbian refineries, appears to be in jeopardy due to EU sanctions. If the new route is constructed, Serbia will be able to import gas from Hungary via the Friendship pipeline. The pipeline will run from Hungary’s Algyő to Novi Sad, Serbia, and the Serb president stated that its completion will take about two years. Estimated project costs are 100 million euros.
‘Serbia must not permit itself to be restricted to one route or partner when it comes to the acquisition of particular energy sources,’ Prime Minister-designate Brnabić warned legislators.
According to Brnabić, Serbia will spend 12 billion euros over the next few years implementing its new energy strategy and would work to give as much room as possible for environmentally friendly options.