The Ministry of Economy of North Macedonia plans to declare a state of energy crisis in the electricity sector in August in order to ensure a stable supply to domestic consumers.
North Macedonia declared a state of energy crisis last year in November for a month, but soon extended it for six more months until June 9. The main reason were the issues with the electricity supply.
Minister of Economy Kreshnik Bekteshi now said that in addition to declaring a state of crisis in the electricity sector, the ministry also intends to establish a commission for the energy crisis to allow government intervention to increase the production of electricity from domestic capacities. It means it would provide financial resources to state-owned firms for the upcoming heating season which, in his words, would be one of the most difficult ever according to all predictions.
Blackouts are not expected, even if it is not possible to import gas and electricity
Power outages are not expected, even if natural gas deliveries are halted, and the import of electricity from other countries is banned, Bekteshi said at a press briefing.
He stated that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) approved EUR 100 million for the liquidity of power utility Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM). The funds would allow it to buy electricity and also coal and fuel oil for the needs of its power plants.
Electricity will be produced by all power plants owned by ESM
Coal and fuel oil will be purchased for the three units of thermal power plant REK Bitola, the thermal power plant in the REK Oslomej complex, and the fuel-oil-fueled Negotino facility, Bekteshi said and added the country must preserve hydropower capacities for the winter.
Bekteshi pointed out that the government is looking for alternatives if Gazprom halts gas deliveries, as the country is 100% supplied by the Russian company. One of the options is to switch heating plants and industrial facilities to fuel oil, and if transport capacities via Bulgaria could be leased, gas will be imported from Azerbaijan or Turkey.