Electricity

ESM halts investment in Belene project, turns to gas power plant near Alexandroupolis LNG terminal

esm belene lng alexandroupolis

Photo: Max Mustermann from Pixabay

Published

November 27, 2020

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Published:

November 27, 2020

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State-owned energy company Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM) suspended investments in Bulgaria’s nuclear power plant Belene, and shifted its focus to the construction of a gas power plant near the planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Alexandroupolis in Greece.

ESM estimates the LNG terminal and 800 MW gas project would be finished earlier than the construction of Belene, pointing to the significance of securing a stable supply of gas to customers in North Macedonia, local media reported.

ESM believes the gas-fired power plant would be built before the Belene nuclear power plant

Issues arose in the supply of electricity a few months ago in North Macedonia. The energy system is in a very delicate situation.

ESM said the LNG terminal and gas power plant have better chances to be finished sooner than the Bulgarian nuclear power plant.

North Macedonia plans to phase out coal, and is turning to renewables and natural gas

ESM officially sent a letter of intent last year to acquire a minority stake in the Belene project, which was abandoned in 2012 and revived in 2018. This year North Macedonia has also received an offer from Greece to participate in the development of the Alexandroupolis LNG terminal and own 25% of the 800 MW gas power plant or 200 MW.

North Macedonia’s interest in the two projects is related to the country’s strategy to phase out coal and move to renewables and natural gasEnvironmental protection and sustainable development are among the six main tasks for the four-year mandate of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev’s recently elected cabinet.

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