At the Western Balkans Investment Summit, in the presence of all regional prime ministers, the European Union confirmed its intention to provide a EUR 12 million grant to support construction of the first electricity interconnector between Albania and Macedonia, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said on its website. The package will also help the introduction of grid efficiency improvements to the infrastructure of MEPSO, the electricity transmission system operator of Macedonia.
The project is part of the connectivity agenda for the Western Balkans with funding provided from the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA) through the Western Balkan Investment Framework (WBIF). EBRD has already committed a EUR 37 million loan for the regional integration of energy markets in the Western Balkans.
Supporting crucial regional cross-border infrastructure and creating larger integrated energy markets increases energy security, said Suma Chakrabarti, president of EBRD. The project signifies an important step towards establishing a regional electricity market, he said.
The European Commission supports the Western Balkans connectivity agenda and the transmission line will improve the security of supply and the stability of the two countries’ power systems, said Christian Danielsson, director general for enlargement, and added waste and excess capacity will be reduced. The project is part of the European Commission’s initiative to establish an East–West electricity transmission corridor between Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and Italy, including the planned submarine cable from Montenegro to Italy.