The underground gas storage in Banatski Dvor, which became operational Monday, confirms Serbia was right to form a strategic partnership with Gazprom and has potential to become an important energy hub in South East Europe, Serbian President Boris Tadic said Monday.
Stressing the importance of energy storage facilities, Tadic recalled the problems businesses and households in Serbia experienced several years ago when delivery of Russian gas was blocked.
“We suffered damages because we did not have full gas storage capacities at the time. Now we do. We promised our citizens we would complete the job and we have, in cooperation between Srbijagas and Gazprom,” Tadic said in Banatski Dvor.
According to Tadic, the partnership with Gazprom will continue to be fruitful in the future.
“I believe Srbijagas will manage to overcome the economic difficulties and in the coming period there will be new investments in development, not only in the field of oil and gas, but also in the production of electric energy,” Tadic said.
Tadic visited the storage in Banatski Dvor in the company of Gazprom Management Committee Chairman Alexey Miller and Srbijagas CEO Dusan Bajatovic.
Tadic said he and Miller will discuss future cooperation between Serbia and Gazprom and the realization of the South Stream project later in the day.
The Serbian president said talks related to South Stream will take place over a period of time because decisions need to be made not only by the management of the Russian energy company but also by Russia’s political leadership.
Asked if the plan is still for one leg to go through Republika Srpska (RS), Tadic said that, whenever a gas pipeline through Serbia is built, one leg will go in the direction of Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH).
“Serbia will never leave RS, and consequently BiH, without a gas supply. In times of crisis, Serbia has helped supply the population in the neighboring country,” Tadic reminded.
Banatski Dvor can hold 450 million cubic meters and will ensure an uninterrupted energy supply in Serbia by storing natural gas delivered from Russia.