Serbia buys gas from two Hungarian companies

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Finance Minister Siniša Mali said that Serbia is buying gas from two Hungarian companies that is “stored in that country for our needs”, and that “we have already paid an advance in the amount of 250 million euros”.

“Thanks to our friends from Hungary, we managed to secure an additional 500 million cubic meters of gas, which we will store in two warehouses in Hungary, and we buy from two of their companies, one is MET, and the other is MVM, which in Hungary is the same as EPS in our country. Therefore, we are buying 250 million cubic meters of gas from each of them, and we have already paid an advance of around 250 million euros”, said Mali.

He announced that the agreed 500 million cubic meters of gas will be stored in Hungary until October 1 and that Serbia will then, as announced, have three million cubic meters of that gas available per day in October, then in November, December, January and six million cubic meters of gas per day in February and three million cubic meters of gas per day in March.

The minister also announced that the Serbian part of the warehouse in Banatski Dvor will be fully filled in the next twenty days.

“Those three sources (gas from Russia at a lower price, gas from warehouses in Hungary and in Banatski Dvor) will provide us with enough gas for households and the economy to get through this winter”, emphasized Mali.

He pointed out that Serbia has a solution for gas in this situation.

“We have already transferred 250 million euros to the Hungarians and now that gas is slowly arriving. At the end of July we have to pay again for additional gas volumes for August. It goes month by month and works according to plan. We pay in advance, then they pump the gas and the most important thing is that we have it in warehouses and that we can bring it to Serbia in the winter,” Mali said.

When it comes to electricity, Mali says that there are also big challenges in how to ensure sufficient quantities for the winter, given that EPS does not produce enough coal.

“We have signed 11 contracts, when it comes to the purchase of coal from various mines from various countries. Slowly but surely, that coal is arriving in Serbia, and we are also negotiating with our Chinese friends on the acquisition of one million tons of additional coal, so that at the EPS warehouses we have enough coal for any situation during the winter. Also, we were thinking about buying electricity in advance, through forwards and futures, and we have already bought some electricity, and then successive payments are made”, said Mali.

He says that the state has also procured enough fuel oil and that a few days ago it was agreed to purchase another 28,000 tons of fuel oil, in order to improve the quality of burning coal in thermal power plants if necessary.

“Oil supply stable”

When it comes to crude oil, the Minister of Finance reminded that a decree was passed on controlling the prices of oil and derivatives, which is constantly updated and changed.

He pointed out that the state did not allow inflation to grow uncontrollably and that is why prices were limited and the excise tax was reduced, as well as that the state took the burden of the crisis upon itself, in order to ensure stable and lower fuel prices at the pumps.

“At the moment, the supply of oil and derivatives is stable. We were afraid that there would be shortages due to price controls, but every week we negotiate and talk with MOL and OMV and NIS and everyone who participates in the oil market and oil derivatives and it is working well for now,” said Mali.

He adds that fuel prices in our country do not have a big impact on inflation, even though they have skyrocketed throughout Europe.

“We don’t even have shortages, so I think we’ve done a good job there as well”, emphasized Mali.

He adds that the state continues to subsidize the price of diesel for farmers, who can buy it at a price of RSD 179 per liter.

“Therefore, we are keeping the promise that the president made – we are taking the brunt of the crisis on ourselves”, Mali emphasized.

“Everyone deals with the issue of energy sources”

He says that there are many challenges facing the whole world and that we are all facing a difficult winter, and he notes that this is the third year of crisis, which has been marked by the pandemic, the interruption of supply chains, the rise in energy prices, the conflict in Ukraine and others, all of which affect the our country.

“Last year, we started dealing with all the necessary things in order to winter with as few consequences as possible caused by this crisis in the world. Now it’s summer and few people think about how it will be in winter, but we think, that’s our job. And we lead takes into account that we provide all energy sources, crude oil, gas, electricity, coal, fuel oil and everything else necessary for the winter in the appropriate quantities and in the appropriate manner”, said Mali.

He adds that it is no longer just a question of energy prices, but whether you can buy them.

Mali mentioned that as the Minister of Finance, perhaps he should not deal so much with energy, but that now the situation is such that everyone is dealing with that issue, from the president, the prime minister and the government team, in order to provide the citizens with everything necessary for the winter .

He notes that the price of electricity in the world has gone up to 400 euros per megawatt, while in Serbia it has not been changed for the citizens and the economy, so the citizens pay only about 40 euros, and the economy 75 euros.

We pay for everything from our budget, while maintaining the stability of our finances, Mali emphasized.

He said that public debt now amounts to 53.7 percent of GDP and that it will not exceed 55 or 56 percent by the end of the year, which is far below the Maastricht criteria, Euronews writes.