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Serbia’s NIS invites bids for processing machinery

  Serbian oil monopoly Naftna Industrija Srbije (NIS), majority held by Russia’s Gazprom Neft, invited bids on Monday for the purchase of processing machinery, its first investment as NIS’s majority stakeholder.

The tender, posted on the NIS official website, calls for the procurement of a high pressure separator and a hydro-treating reactor, the key components for crude oil processing at the Pancevo oil refinery outside Belgrade. The tender offer did not specify the starting price.

“The procurement of new components will allow NIS to boost quality of its engine fuels to the Euro-5 standard,” the company said in a statement, adding that binding bids should be submitted by May 5.

In February, Gazprom Neft paid €400 million ($529.4 million) for a 51% stake in NIS and pledged additional investment of €547 million, as part of a wider energy deal between Serbia and Russia. The refinery in Pancevo, the bigger of the country’s two crude oil processing units, will start using the new machinery by 2012, the statement said.

Under a bilateral energy deal in December, Serbia and Russia also agreed to develop part of the South Stream pipeline to transport natural gas via Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia and then on to European markets, bypassing Ukraine.

Like other European countries reliant on Russian gas deliveries, Serbia was also hit hard during the January gas row between Ukraine and Russia and the pipeline is expected to help Serbia diversify its gas supplies. (Reuters)