The Macedonian government has announced plans to develop a natural gas distribution network in eastern and western Macedonia through a public-private partnership (PPP) project.
On 15 August, Deputy Prime Minister (PM) of the Republic of Macedonia Vladimir Pesevski, announced that public call are scheduled to be launched by late September this year.
Deputy PM Vladimir Pesevski stated:
The construction of a national gas pipeline system and connecting it with regional pipelines, as will as the construction of a natural gas distribution system, is one of the most crucial government projects due to the myriad of benefits for the country. Natural gas can be used in numerous sectors, namely in households, industry, transport, energy and heating production while also being one of the cheapest fuel. Thus, gasification is expected to significantly improve the living standards of citizens, boost the competitiveness of local companies and positively affect Macedonia's attractiveness as an investment destination.
The project is part of the development of 650-km distribution network. This network is divided in three areas: Skopje region, the eastern and western parts of the country. The Skopje region project is in public calls stage already. The investment is estimated at €100 million.
The gas network PPP project will cover a total of 37 municipalities in eastern Macedonia and a total of 26 in the western region. The project is expected to be constructed in a period of 4 years. The concession contract would be for 20 years.
The project investment is estimated at €50 million (US$66 million).
Mr Janakieski commented:
The investor of the future concession will be responsible to construct a primary and secondary distribution network, to invest in a tertiary network, connectors to all consumers, including an equipment for measuring and regulation, gas distribution, system management and maintenance.
In late July this year the Macedonian government signed a deal that includes Macedonia in Russia's South Stream gas pipeline project. The agreement to cooperate on construction of the Macedonian leg of the South Stream Gas Pipeline was signed in Moscow between Macedonia and Russia.
The pipeline will transport Russian natural gas produced by Gazprom through the Black Sea to Bulgaria and then to Italy and Austria. The project, already in construction, is scheduled for completion in 2018.