Countries in the region are striving toward gasification22. April 2013. / SEE Energy News
Several countries in the region are turning to gasification in order to accomplish energy stability and to fight against high electricity price.
Some of the countries transferred from electricity to gas and other are only at the beginning of this process.
Two municipalities in Macedonia, Kumanovo and Strumica have started to use gas as heating fuel in public and education institutions recently.
Strumica launched so called virtual pipeline after examples of some municipalities from Bulgaria. Gas is delivered to municipalities in cisterns from Bulgaria and then it is being compressed and distributed to final buyers within 20 km long pipeline that municipality financed with its own assets.
Schools and building of Strumica municipality are connected to this network.
Zoran Kitanov, Director of Strumica gas, declared for SETimes that municipality is putting effort in connecting households from this municipality into network.
“We have over 350 household requests for the contract. We started with the construction of secondary network through settlements but we cannot answer all requests because it is a long process. When central network is built households will need only a little pipeline to connect to the network”, Kitanov stated.
Strumica’s Government stated that municipality will save 25 million EUR until 2020 by using gas instead of electricity for heating public institutions. Use of gas will enable development of domestic economy and attract domestic and foreign investors.
Serbia has made a national action plan, for transferring to gas until 2030, recently.
Region of Vojvodina is one of the most developed regions on Balkan when it comes to gasification. Vojvodina launched gasification process more than 15 years ago and according to words of Goran Jesic, there is a little part of this district which hasn’t transferred yet.
“Vojvodina is huge producer of oil and gas. The biggest number of households and industrial objects in Vojvodina use gas as heating fuel. Srbijagas can cover one part of gas users with its capacities, while other part is covered with gas, imported from Russia over Ukraine”. The biggest reservoir of natural gas in the region Banatski dvor in Vojvodina is being finished at the moment. Vojvodina can provide gas to its citizens for few months without problems, Jesic says.
Regional countries should follow the example of Vojvodina and invest in national gas network- he says.
However, Konstantin Dimitrov, President of Center for Energy Efficiency in Skoplje stated for SETimes that regional needs should be coverend with South Stream pipeline connection.
“We have our own oil and gas resources and coal is almost spent. Therefore, we need to have the source and gas is much better fuel. The most important question for Macedonia is that Russia needs 4 billion cubic meters of gas in the following period”, Dimitrov stated.
South Stream pipeline will spread from Russian coast of Black Sea in Anapa region and it will go through exclusive economy zone of Turkey in Black Sea and go on land from Bulgarian coast near Varna. This pipeline will go through north Serbia to Hungary, Slovenia and Austria.
South branch will connect Bulgaria with Greece and Italy and branches from Serbian sector of South Stream to BiH and Croatia are also planned. First commercial deliveries are planned for the end of 2015.
Damir Novotny, economy analyst and ex-member of Hrvatska narodna banka’s governors, stated that pipeline construction will improve industrial and security standards in the country.
“The construction will cause benefits to local construction companies and it will open some work places. Croatian industry will have safer gas delivery. Final gas price will remain the same as it was on the market but it will decrease distribution expenses what will decrease monthly gas bills to citizens and subjects”, Novotny stated for SETimes.
“The most important question for us is to have stable energy system. This represent pragmatics in advantage for Macedonian citizens”, Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski declared.
Macedonia has 100 km long gas system built 20 years ago which supplies 10 industrial objects in the capital with gas. Macedonia plans to build gas direction for south Macedonia for the purpose of improving the efforts.
“The process of assets providing for construction of other parts is connected to the construction of this part. The first is 96 km long and the biggest part of the network should be constructed for six to seven years. This is strategic investment for the country”, Krste Miladinov, Director of Energy Resources of Macedonia, stated for SETimes.
This project that predicts complete gasification of Macedonia will cost around 300 million dollars and it will be realized in three phases depending on the assets.
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