Renewables

North Macedonia, Albania sign agreement on joint projects for gas, LNG, renewables

North Macedonia Albania joint projects energy gas renewables

Photo: Prime Ministers of North Macedonia Dimitar Kovačevski (pictured left) and his Albanian counterpart Edi Rama (Government of North Macedonia)

Published

November 15, 2022

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Published:

November 15, 2022

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The governments of North Macedonia and Albania signed several deals at a joint session. A memorandum of understanding on energy is aimed at intensifying cooperation in gas infrastructure and renewable energy and the construction of an LNG terminal in Vlora.

As Albania is about to build a terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in its port of Vlora, other Western Balkan countries want in on the action, mostly because of the energy crisis and uncertainty regarding the supply of gas from Russia.

Following cooperation agreements with Kosovo* and Serbia, Albania has signed a similar memorandum of understanding with North Macedonia at the second joint session of the two governments, held in Skopje.

North Macedonian Prime Minister Dimitar Kovačevski said the document creates a framework for joint energy projects, mostly for gas infrastructure and renewable energy. The two sides reached several agreements, with a special focus on energy, he noted. It includes cooperation on the construction of the LNG terminal.

Kovačevski: The energy crisis is an opportunity to turn North Macedonia into a green energy hub

“This crisis is also an opportunity for us, for innovation, for development, an opportunity to turn the country into a green energy hub that, with a good plan and strategy, can supply both the region and the continent with energy obtained from renewable sources,” Kovačevski said.

He cited both the Open Balkan initiative for economic integration, promoted by Serbia, Albania and North Macedonia, and the so-called Berlin Process, a platform through which all the countries in the region are working on joining the European Union.

North Macedonia needs gas supply for facilities that are planned to replace its old coal plants REK Bitola and REK Oslomej and Negotino oil-fired power plant.

United States–based Excelerate and ExxonMobil agreed last year with Albania to study the options for building the LNG terminal and converting an inactive oil-fired power plant in Vlora to gas.

* 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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