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Investment in energy infrastructure an investment for the future

25. February 2010. | 11:11 11:20

Source: EMportal, Infobiro.tv

Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said that investments in energy infrastructure are investments for the future development of those countries in Europe that have to catch up with advanced economies, thereby providing citizens with a higher level of stability and standard of living.

Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said that investments in energy infrastructure are investments for the future development of those countries in Europe that have to catch up with advanced economies, thereby providing citizens with a higher level of stability and standard of living.

Cvetkovic said in the Summit on Energy Security in Budapest, which brought together the premieres of countries from Central, Eastern and Southeast Europe, that the region is an important energy hub and transit route for the supply of energy from Russia and Central Asia.

In this regard, we must invest joint efforts to carry out the planned new transit projects as soon as possible, to ensure a stable energy supply in Europe, as well as to diversify sources and routes of energy markets, said the Prime Minister.

He stressed that for Serbia, a priority is the South Stream project pipeline, which should provide significant amounts of natural gas to markets in Europe.

He added that the pipeline has a European character and importance and will have positive effects on energy security, creating an energy efficient network, economic activity and regional networking.

At the same time, we are open for participation in other projects and plans aimed at strengthening the security of the energy supply, the expansion of transport-storage capacity and regional networking, said Cvetkovic.

Serbia is already making a serious effort to improve legislation, adopting European standards and the development of energy capacity that would be of regional and European importance, he noted.

The Prime Minister said that investment in the reconstruction of the energy capacity per annum is approximately €1 billion and expressed the expectation that this amount will further increase in the next five years.

He recalled that Serbia has started with significant investment in new electricity production capacities, which include the construction of two power plants using lignite and a gas plant, whose total capacity is 1750 MWh, which represents approximately 20% of the total production capacity of our country.

Cvetkovic said Serbia is investing the maximum of effort in promoting electricity production from renewable sources, and started activities in the utilisation of the remaining hydro-electric potential, especially the Drina River, whose capacity is estimated at approximately 1,000 MWh, with an average annual production of 3800 GWh.

The Prime Minister stressed that Serbia adopted a programme of support for energy production from renewable sources, which should attract significant investment, particularly in energy production based on wind, water or biomass.

Cvetkovic stated that all the mentioned projects will be carried out only through a majority share of private capital, thus indirectly abolishing a monopoly in the field of electricity production and further improving the efficiency of energy systems.

He said that in early 2009 Serbia signed a contract with Russian company Gazpromneft, which began an extensive process of investing in the reconstruction of the Serbian capacity for processing oil.

The Prime Minister stressed that in parallel with the activities of the South Stream project, Serbia invested significant resources in the development of its strategic gas storage.

The first of these projects, Banatski Dvor, in which the capacity is 800 million cubic metres in the final stage, Cvetkovic explained and added that we intend to increase the capacity several times with the construction of new warehouses.

We also plan to invest together with Romania, which will give an additional contribution to the energy stability of Serbia and the region, said the Prime Minister.

Mirko Cvetkovic, left, and Gordon Bajnai
Photo: Fonet

Cvetkovic met with Hungarian Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai and told him that Serbia would highly appreciate if Hungary started with the process of ratification of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement soon and if it supported Serbia's acquisition of EU candidate status.

He stressed that bilateral relations between the two countries have a rising trend, and added that Serbia is ready to work with Hungary to develop all forms of cooperation.

According to Cvetkovic, they agreed that there are significant areas of cooperation between Serbia and Hungary, including transport, energy, agriculture, environmental protection, tourism, cooperation of small and medium enterprises and regional and cross-border cooperation.
Cvetkovic has welcomed the initiative of the Hungarian side for the maintenance of the joint meeting of the governments of Serbia and Hungary, and added that minorities are an important bridge of cooperation between the two countries.

Cvetkovic said Serbia will continue to fully contribute to improving the position of the Hungarian minority.

Cvetkovic also met with Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc and conveyed to him that Serbia values Romania’s principled stance on the issue of Kosovo-Metohija and efforts for upholding international law.

Serbia highly appreciates Romania’s participation in all stages of the process for establishing the illegality of the unilateral declaration of independence before the International Court of Justice, he said.

Serbia also appreciates Romania’s support for starting the process for the ratification of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement and Serbia’s application for EU candidate status, said the Prime Minister.

Serbia is interested in specific projects that would be of interest to both countries. There is huge potential for improving economic cooperation, particularly for joint road and rail transport projects and mutual investments, he said.

The Prime Minister said that he conveyed that Serbia is interested in improving the utilisation of the Danube and the Port of Constanta for trade.

Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic told his Czech counterpart Jan Fischer that Serbia extremely appreciates the Czech Republic’s support to the speedier beginning of the ratification of Serbia’s Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU and the acquisition of EU candidate status.

Cvetkovic met Fischer at the fringes of the Summit on Energy Security in Budapest and told him Serbia is ready to work intensively on developing all forms of cooperation with the Czech Republic.

He voiced Serbia’s interest to improve their economic cooperation by increasing both the trade volume and investment, especially in the energy sector, road infrastructure and environmental protection.

Cvetkovic thanked Fischer for the Czech government’s development aid to Serbia, as well as for its readiness to have Serbia’s priority environmental protection programmes included in the development aid programme for the period until 2012.



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