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14 November 2022

Meeting with representatives of China Energy International Group Co., Ltd.

 Meeting with representatives of China Energy International Group Co., Ltd.

President of the National Council for Coordination of Cooperation with the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China Tomislav Nikolić and the representatives of China Energy International Group Co., Ltd., a China-based company, had talks today centering on the construction of an oil refinery in Smederevo.

Council President Tomislav Nikolić informed the company representatives about the previous work on the implementation of the oil refinery construction project. “This project has been developed for a number of years now and has drawn the interest of several investors. All the relevant state-owned enterprises such as the Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS) and Transnafta JSC have already been hired for the project, the rail infrastructure has been provided and the Spatial Plan will require six to eights months to be prepared. In order to take further action on the oil refinery construction project, it is first necessary for the investor and Government representatives to sign the Framework Agreement detailing both the forms of support to be provided to the investor and the requirements it is expected to meet. This project requires intense and devoted work, for not only is it demanding but also very important in strategic terms nowadays.” Council President Nikolić also used the meeting as an opportunity to underline one thing in particular, this being the necessity of meeting all the conditions set out by the Ministry of Environmental Protection. “The Smederevo Oil Refinery construction project comes with huge challenges that China Energy will have to face and the pace of overcoming them is the pace at which the Refinery will be built,” Council President Nikolić emphasized.

In the meeting, the Chinese company representatives stressed that China Energy is au courant with everything previously done regarding the implementation of the project; they have established that China Energy can execute a significant portion of the investment, but that it is necessary for them to find a majority partner in China in order to carry the project through. They added that this very ambitious and complex project requires adequate endorsement. The China Energy representatives showed particular interest in the possibility of establishing a Public-Private Partnership, meeting the EU environmental protection standards, the issuance of all the necessary project implementation permits on the part of Serbia and the expected time frames.