Energy Crisis

Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia to set up working group for energy cooperation

Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia to set up joint working group for energy cooperation mihajlovic baluku bekteshi

Phto: Bellinda Baluku/Facebook

Published

July 27, 2022

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Published:

July 27, 2022

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Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia will establish a working group on the energy crisis and joint strategic projects. It is tasked with preparing proposals for joint investments in renewable energy and the integration of the electricity and gas markets.

At the latest meeting within the Open Balkan initiative, energy ministers of Albania and North Macedonia accepted Serbia’s proposal to launch a working group on the energy crisis and joint strategic projects, the Government of Serbia said.

Belinda Balluku, Albania’s Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Kreshnik Bekteshi, North Macedonia’s Minister of Economy, and Zorana Mihajlović, Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy, reached the agreement in Tirana.

Mihajlović stressed the working group would not only deal with the energy issues for the upcoming winter, but also with potential cooperation on strategic projects to increase energy security in the entire region. The panel will be established next week, she said.

The three countries need baseload power, market integration, and joint balancing of renewables

The idea is to present proposals for joint investments to the presidents and prime ministers of the three countries, including solar power plants, wind farms, joint balancing of renewables, market integration, gas interconnections, and maybe even underground gas storage, said Mihajlović.

She underscored there is no reason not to discuss market integration and joint balancing and added that all the countries in the region require them.

Albania is quite dependent on renewable energy sources, so when output in the sector drops, the country needs baseload power, which is important also for Serbia and North Macedonia, Mihajlović argued.

Serbia is interested in connecting to Albania’s planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal as well as in the development of high-voltage electricity interconnections in the region, she added.

Bekteshi: We will sign a memorandum for a gas pipeline with Serbia

Kreshnik Bekteshi, the Minister of Economy of North Macedonia, said his country would sign a memorandum of understanding with Serbia on the construction of a gas interconnection.

The proposed gas pipeline with Serbia is important because the government’s strategic commitment is to improve the energy system and infrastructural and economic ties with neighbors and European Union member stated, said Bekteshi.

North Macedonia has also formed a working group for a gas interconnection with Albania.

Of note, the currently has only one gas interconnection with Bulgaria, but it also plans to build links with Greece, Kosovo*, and another one with Bulgaria.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
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