North Macedonia securing gas, electricity supply amid coal phaseout

North Macedonia has signed three memoranda with Greece to secure the supply of natural gas from the planned liquefied natural gas terminal in Alexandroupolis and of electricity from a nearby gas-fired power plant in order to implement its strategy to phase out coal and switch to renewables and gas. The country intends to use gas to reduce pollution and strengthen environmental protection.
North Macedonia’s National Energy Resources (NER) and power utility Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM) signed the agreements with Greek companies Gastrade and Damko Energy. The deals were announced in the presence of the North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

He said the government’s goal is to implement the green scenario as the most acceptable one for the country’s development.

Providing gas to companies and households will lead to a reduction in their costs, cutting pollution and improving environmental protection

Providing natural gas to companies and households will lead to a reduction in their costs, cutting pollution and improving environmental protection, and to better living conditions for the residents of Northern Macedonia, Zaev stated.

The country will participate with 25% in the construction of the 800 MW natural gas power plant in Alexandroupolis. Investment in the combined cycle power plant is estimated at EUR 380 million. North Macedonia intends to acquire a 10% share in the EUR 370 million LNG terminal. The plan is to open the gas terminal and power plant by 2023, according to Zaev.

North Macedonia to book supply from Alexandroupolis LNG terminal for 15 years

NER aims to acquire a share in Gastrade while ESM is interested in booking the capacity at the LNG terminal on a long-term basis, for the next 15 years.

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The parties will work together in formulating the details of both agreements, Gastrade said.

NER and ESM signed the memoranda on the future LNG terminal with Gastrade’s representative

Vice President of Gastrade Kostis Sifnaios signed the agreements with director of NER Bajram Redžepi and the director of ESM Vasko Kovačevski.

The offshore LNG floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) close to Alexandroupolis will have a capacity of 5.5 billion cubic meters per year.

North Macedonia intends to convert state-owned REK Bitola’s coal-fired thermal power plant to gas and convert thermal power plant Negotino from oil to gas. The government said earlier it was in talks with United States–based engineering giant General Electric on a project to build a natural gas-fired power plant in the southwestern city of Bitola.

Director of Damco Energy Christos Copelouzos and director of ESM Vasko Kovačevski have signed a memorandum on cooperation for the Alexandroupolis gas-fired power plant.

ESM will participate with 25% in the share capital of Alexandroupolis Electricity Production, the special purpose vehicle (SPV) or project firm that should finance, construct, own and operate the power plant. Damco is currently the sole owner of the project.

It is currently licensed for a capacity of 662 MW, anticipated to increase to 800 MW.

ESM will sign a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) for the amount of electricity proportional to its share in the ownership of the power plant, Damco Energy said.

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