The Government of North Macedonia is in talks with US industrial giant General Electric on a project to build a natural gas-fired power plant in the southwestern city of Bitola. Also, there is a great interest among companies for investment in new power plants in Negotino and in the Čebren hydropower plant.
The new investments in the energy sector are part of North Macedonia’s strategy to phase out coal and switch to power production from renewables and natural gas.
A month ago 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 in Greece.
The investment in an 800 MW gas power plant is estimated at EUR 400 million
Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has announced that the government has several energy projects in the pipeline.
The country is discussing investments in a gas power plant in Bitola with General Electric Investment, Zaev said.
The investment in an 800 MW power plant is estimated at EUR 400 million, he said. North Macedonia is also discussing the Negotino project, which has drawn more than 50 potential investors, according to Zaev.
In October he said that North Macedonia plans to shut down the coal-fired REK Bitola, with installed capacity of 675 MW, and to convert it to gas from a planned pipeline. On the other side, the Negotino project is related to the plan to switch the 210 MW thermal power plant TEC Negotino from fuel oil to natural gas.
Ten offers from major companies for Čebren hydropower plant
Zaev also said that the deadline for submitting bids for the 333 MW Čebren hydropower plant has expired.
There are 10 offers from major companies from Spain, France, Greece, Austria, Turkey, and China. The project is worth EUR 600-800 million.
67 companies had submitted expressions of interest
Earlier, North Macedonia’s economy minister, Kreshnik Bekteshi, said 67 companies had submitted expressions of interest in the construction of HPP Čebren.
In February the Government of North Macedonia invited prequalification applications for the execution and completion of a concession contract and the participation in a public-private partnership for the generation of electricity from HPPs on the Crna river.