North Macedonia: NPP Belene project planned investment suspended

, SEE Energy News

North Macedonia has suspended plans to invest in the project for the construction of Bulgaria’s second nuclear power plant Belene, said General Director of North Macedonian state-owned power utility ESM Vasko Kovacevski.

According to him, North Macedonia will focus on potential involvement in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal project in Alexandroupoli in northeastern Greece. He said that the country is interested in obtaining 25 % stake in the project.

Last August, North Macedonia expressed interest in participation in NPP Belene project’s implementation through a minority stake acquired by state-owned power utility ESM and a long-term electricity purchase contract.

Last month, The Government said that it is considering Greece’s offer of co-ownership, through power utility ESM, of an 800 MW gas-fired power plant to be built in northern Greece near the town of Alexandroupoli, where the floating LNG terminal will be built. The offer came amid the Government’s ambitious decarbonization plan which envisages closing the power plants running on coal and fuel oil and embracing renewable energy such as wind and solar and switching to transitional fuel, namely natural gas. Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said that the Government has a clear energy strategy and knows that the time is coming when North Macedonia should close its coal-fired energy generation facilities. According to him, the state is considering accepting a very friendly offer from Greece, where it would be a co-owner of 800 MW gas-fired power plant near Alexandroupoli, which would produce two and a half times more energy than the amount of the energy deficit that North Macedonia currently has.