President Aleksandar Vucic says the new investment of the oil company NIS in deep processing in Pancevo is “very significant for the whole of Serbia.”

At the opening ceremony, Vucic thanked Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in particular for the cooperation between the two countries “moving in an ever better direction.”

“As (Russian) Ambassador Aleksandr Chepurin says, this is not a Russian company, but a Russian-Serbian company. The Russians have a majority (stake), but we are a very important partner with 29 percent,” Vucic said of NIS, a Serbia-based company that is majority-owned by Russia’s energy giant Gazprom.

According to Vucic, “we expect a lot from the deep processing project because we knew that without it, there was no future of the Pancevo refinery.”

“It is especially important that children in the neighborhood, too, will be able to walk without protective masks. 330 million dollars is very much an important investment, and will be of benefit to all citizens of Serbia,” Vucic said.

“When in the third or fourth quarter of 2019, this facility has been opened,” he continued, “we will not have to import 100,000 tons of coke, we will have our own 140,000 tons. We will have more money for the budget.”

Vucic – who was in Pancevo on Monday accompanied by Chepurin, and Gazprom Neft CEO Aleksandr Dyukov – added that highest quality fuel would be produced in Serbia, and revealed that NIS is now the top contributor to the budget of Serbia, ast the figure since the beginning of the year amounted to 100 billion Serbian dinars (RSD) – while this number is expected to reach 1.3 billion euros by the end of the year.

This represents about ten percent at the level of all consolidated revenues in Serbia – as much as 16 percent of the government’s spending and between 2.5 to 2.6 percent of Serbia’s GDP, the president said.

“It’s clear from this how important NIS is for Serbia, and what we are doing, and opening today in Pancevo,” Vucic said, adding: “We expect much from the deep processing project.”

NIS investments, Vucic said, have so far ensured that Serbia has best-quality diesel and gasoline in this part of Europe.

According to Tanjug, the president said that “foreign direct investments in Serbia totaled 1.6 billion euros in 2017 – 8.3 percent more than last year – and last year we had more investments than all countries and territories in the region put together.”

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