North Macedonia’s Gross Electricity Output Down 5.6% Y/Y in February

North Macedonia’s gross electricity production fell by an annual 5.6% to 470,132 MWh in February, the statistical office said on Tuesday, citing preliminary data. Net electricity output decreased 7.8% year-on-year in February – to 438,766 MWh, Makstat said in a statement.

Thermal power plants contributed the largest portion of the gross domestic electricity production in February, generating 253,588 MWh, up 60.4% compared to the same month in 2021. Electricity generated by cogeneration plants and auto-production thermal power stations totalled 141,805 MWh in February, down 1.7% on an annual comparison basis. Hydro power plants generated 59,567 MWh of electricity, down 67.1% year-on-year.

Wind farms’ output rose 15% year-on-year to 9,829 MWh in the month under review, while biogas plants generated 3,673 MWh of electricity, 16.3% lower compared with the same month in 2021. Solar parks produced 1,671 MWh, up 1.8% on the year. North Macedonia’s electricity imports increased by an annual 2.1% to 275,437 MWh in February. Electricity exports came in at 12,454 MWh in February, down 60.4% on the year. Distribution losses rose 1.1% on the year to 105,017 MWh in February.


North Macedonia Completes First Solar Park on Abandoned Coal Pit

Prime Minister Dimitar Kovačevski inaugurated a 10 MW solar power plant at the aging Oslomej coal complex and said North Macedonia wants to transition from an economy dominated by fossil fuels to the production of energy from the sun and wind, hydropower and gas.

The Oslomej 1 photovoltaic plant, one of the projects from the European Union’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, started its test operation. The 10 MW facility was built at a former lignite mine belonging to the old thermal power plant of the same name in the municipality of Kičevo in the western part of North Macedonia. Both the coal complex and the solar power unit belong to state-owned electricity utility Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM), which already has one wind park, Bogdanci, and plans to expand it. The company intends to close its coal and oil-fired power plants, switch them to gas or replace them with renewables.


Three more photovoltaic plants in pipeline for Oslomej

Prime Minister Dimitar Kovačevski said at the inauguration ceremony that the government and its partners want to conduct a transition from an economy dominated by fossil fuels to the production of energy from the sun and wind, hydroelectric plants and gas. He added the new solar power plant would have an annual output of 15 GWh to 17 GWh, equivalent to the electricity consumption of 2,800 households. ESM is working on a new study for another solar power plant of 10 megawatts, and deals have been signed for the construction of two more photovoltaic power plants, which will completely switch the EK Oslomej complex from coal to renewable energy sources, Kovačevski stressed.

The contracts were awarded to private partners Fortis Energy from Turkey and Solar Pro from Bulgaria. They are obligated to pay a fee equal to 18.5% and 18% of production, respectively, which translates to EUR 1.5 million per year, the prime minister said. Kovačevski also pointed to major wind and solar power projects underway, such as the one that Akuo is developing, and said there is more than 1 GW in renewables in the pipeline with a strategic investment status. The private partner for the Čebren hydropower plant will be selected by the end of June, he added and called it the most important project for the country’s energy transition.


North Macedonia’s economy to become climate neutral by 2040

Minister of Economy Kreshnik Bekteshi said the coal phaseout and the switch to renewables would be completed in ten years and that the economy would become climate neutral by 2040. Earlier, Minister of Environment and Physical Planning Naser Nuredini said that the coal exit deadline would be pushed back to 2030 from 2027. The government earlier indicated the coal exit deadline would be pushed back to 2030 from 2027, while Minister Kreshnik Bekteshi now says the process would be done in ten years

The European Bank for Reconstruction and development, which provided a EUR 5.9 million loan for Oslomej 1, noted that the EUR 8.7 million project includes a EUR 1.6 million grant from the Western Balkans Investment Framework. EBRD also said it is working with ESM on investing in additional solar power plants. The lender also approved financing for an extension of the plant in Oslomej and the construction of a new plant in Bitola for a combined total capacity of 30 MW. The EU is also supporting the investment with a EUR 5.1 million investment grant.

For now there is only one other mid-sized solar power plant in the country – EVN Macedonia’s 5 MW unit near Negotino. Of note, oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum yesterday inaugurated the biggest solar power plant in Greece and the Balkans, at 204,3 MW.


North Macedonia’s Oilko KDA Net profit, Revenue Rise in Q1

North Macedonia’s oil products transport company Oilko KDA said on April 29 that its net profit rose 2% on the year to 7.4 million denars ($126,600 million/120,000 euro) in the first quarter of 2022. Total operating revenues increased 23% year-on-year to 117.8 million denars, as sales went up both at home and abroad, the company said in an interim financial statement.

Domestic sales added 24% to 109 million denars, while sales abroad were up 30% at 8.7 million denars in the January-March period. Operating expenses increased 25% to 109.4 million denars, as cost of materials jumped 73% to 37.8 million denars.

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