North Macedonia will step up coal excavation and activate the third unit at coal mining and power complex REK Bitola and import 1.8 million tons of coal to boost electricity output and avert price hikes amid soaring prices in the international market.
The coal imported through international tendering will also be used to continue electricity production at thermal power plant Oslomej, which was supposed to become backup.
ESM plans to sell surpluses from the additional electricity output on the market
State-owned power utility Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM) plans to increase electricity production from December 2021 to April 2022, which will cover domestic demand, while any surpluses will be sold on the free market, according to ESM General Manager Vasko Kovačevski.
The current electricity price will remain unchanged until at least the end of December
The plan to increase excavation and electricity production and import coal will help meet the needs of the universal supplier, EVN Home, for supplying households at a cost significantly lower than the market price to avert a price shock for citizens, according to Kovačevski.
Marko Bislimoski, head of the country’s energy and water services regulator, has said that the current price of electricity, which was set in June, will remain unchanged until at least the end of December this year.
North Macedonia has announced plans to shut down its coal-fired power plants by 2027
North Macedonia has earlier announced plans to phase out coal and shut down its two thermal power plants by 2027 at the latest.