Kovachevski: We use short-term, mid-term and long-term projects to jointly provide stability and energy for the countries in the region

Prime Minister Kovachevski, while answering a question from the media at the Open Balkan Summit in Belgrade, underlined that we must resolve the energy crisis together by providing the necessary electricity for the whole region. Prime Minister Kovachevski underlined that only with joint cooperation that is the base for economy, we will enable an electro-energy system that will provide electricity in sufficient amounts that lack at the moment, and electricity for the prices of the competitive economy for all countries and for optimal price for the citizens.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Kovachevski underlined that the problem that Europe, and all our countries, North Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, and Herzegovina face, is in fact the lack of electricity and the extraordinary high price of resources for electricity generation. 

“When we look at the prices of electricity, of gas, mazut, it means that there are not enough of them. This is something the citizens must know, and there are certain politicians who want to put this lack into a political context, and it is not true. The market lacks resources, gas is not available due to the war in Ukraine, mazut is present in smaller amounts because it is already used more because of the lack of gas and lack of wind in the northern seas, due to the draught in Europe, due to the impossibility to cool the nuclear reactors in France and Germany. Most of the reactors are shut down and there is lack of electricity. Soaring prices mean that supply is reduced, and each economist will tell you that the margin prices at the end is defined by the demand, and that is why when prices are high, demands are low. North Macedonia, and I am sure that this also refers to Serbia, Albania, and other countries in the region, in order to secure electricity for the price that the citizens can settle, subsidizes the price of the electricity. Only last week we transferred 50 million EUR to ESM so that it can secure electricity that is 80% subsidized for the citizens”, said Prime Minister Kovachevski. 

Kovachevski added that ESM is tasked with activating all production capacities in its ownership, REK Bitola with enabling all blocks, TEC Negotino, the co-generation power plant KOGEL that has smaller capacity and to put in use the balance of the energy for all hydro-potentials. 

“Hydro-potentials can be used as base energy, but in this moment, it is impossible due to the long draught periods and the reduced capacity of the accumulations on a level of about 50%. I believe that this is valid for all the countries in the region. In such conditions, using the capacity of all power plants we have, requires sources of energy that come for higher price. These sources of energy mostly come from imports, it means, the highest quality coal is in Albania and Greece and its price is increased. If the price of coal was 43 EUR per ton, now it reached 93 and it goes beyond. The transport, due to the increased price of mazut and diesel, is also increased. This means that the production in domestic conditions is larger. However, the country is doing tis and ESM is tasked to increase 25% of the production compared to last year”, Kovachevski said. 

Prime Minister Kovachevski explained that at the moment all citizens who are on the regulated market, all households, and small consumers of electricity (72,000 small consumers), private companies on regulated market receive 80% subsidized price of electricity. 

“These subsidies come from the country’s budget. At the free market we have about 1,300 private companies and 530 institutions that are on liberalized, free market and who, through electricity traders, purchase electricity. Their requests are to put into function the private production capacities – renewable sources of electricity – predominantly photovoltaics and small hydro power plants, and putting into function the gas co-generative power plant “TE-TO”, in order for the electricity to be offered per stock-exchange prices on the free market, so that their production and service processes to survive. At the moment, the Ministry of Economy, ESM, and other colleagues from the sector are negotiating with the owners of “TE-TO” with the purpose of having “TE-TO” working from the beginning of the heating season until March 31st. If during its operation with capacity of almost 200 MW there is surplus, of course we will offer it to our first neighbours – Serbia, Albania and others who will need it”, said Kovachevski while adding that in order for “TE-TO” to work it requires gas, and gas can be found in Serbia. The problem lies in the fact that in the past 30 years of independent Macedonia, there is no interconnection with Serbia, and this is something that on mid-term must be done together with them. 

Prime Minister Kovachevski further noted that in the past 30 years there has not been interconnection between Greece and North Macedonia, so that we can join the LNG terminals, and this is also being done on mid-term. 

“As a country we have signed memoranda and agreements with the company for operation of the gas pipelines in Greece for construction of a gas pipeline from Thessaloniki passing through Evzoni to Negotino. When this is completed, it will enable Serbia to have an inter-connector with North Macedonia. The same applies to Albania which has potentials through its ports for LNG and other raw materials, and therefore, it will be necessary to first invest in the big project we have for a railway and highway to Albania, and then, for construction of a gas pipeline. 

The same applies to Albania, which has the potential through a port for LNG and other raw materials, and therefore it will be necessary to first invest in the big project we have for a railway and a highway to Albania, and afterwards, a construction of a pipeline. The network for high voltage connection of North Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro that has not been reconstructed for the past 30 years, is now creating troubles in our network with high voltages i.e., surpluses of electricity that is in the network. It also requires reconstruction on mid-term. Additionally, we offered construction of photovoltaic power plants in North Macedonia, close to the sources of base energy in the form of regional projects of Serbia and Albania. I have already established contact with the Prime Minister of Greece regarding supplying mazut because it comes from Greece and our TEC Negotino uses mazut for its operation,” Kovachevski said. 

Prime Minister Kovachevski underlined that, at the request of some economic subjects in our country, we must provide smoot functioning of the international interconnections for the course of the winter with the Republic of Bulgaria, which borders with two of the Open Balkan countries. PM Kovachevski added that we have short-term measures that we are conducting on daily basis, mid-term measures for connection of all countries in the region, as well as mid-term and long-term measures for building new capacities that must of regional character. Kovachevski concluded that if each of our countries, pursuant to its financial possibilities, decides to consolidate its own energy system on its own, will not be able to do that.