Macedonia, ESM used 58 million euros for electricity imports

, SEE Energy News

In early November, when the Government of North Macedonia declared state of emergency in energy sector, state-owned power utility ESM, marred by low water levels in accumulations and the lack of coal stocks, received financial aid in the amount of 65 million euros.

Out of that amount, 18 million euros was immediately transferred to electricity transmission system operator MEPSO for payments for electricity taken from the regional network in August and September to cover the domestic demand.

After that, ESM started organizing tenders for the purchase of missing electricity, namely five such tenders since mid-November. ESM paid more than 13 million euros for missing electricity, however, details from the last two tenders were not publicly disclosed. The total amount paid for electricity in November is at least 15 million euros.

So far, ESM spent 58 million euros: at least 15 million euros on direct electricity purchases and additional 43 million euros for electricity taken from the regional network during November and December. ESM also had to finance the purchase of additional coal for TPP Oslomej and heating oil for TPP Negotino, which entered operation last week.

Minister of Economy Fatmir Besimi said that the Government will provide additional funds for the operation of the company. Currently, ESM is using less than 60 % of its electricity generation capacities.

ESM said that it is introducing austerity measures and that all employees not necessary for the generation of electricity will be sent on forced leave for no longer than three months with payment of 70 % of their salary.