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Dec 07, 2023 12:44 EEST
December 7 (SeeNews) - North Macedonia's power utility Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM) said on Thursday that its natural gas unit ESM Prodazba will source natural gas for its heating plants in December from Bulgaria's Graystone Bulgaria LTD in a move to reduce its reliance on Russian gas.
The gas supplied by Graystone comprises a blend of Azeri gas, American LNG and other sources, excluding Russian natural gas, ESM told SeeNews in an email.
Graystone was selected after submitting the lowest offer of 56 euro per MWh in a tender, ESM said. ESM Prodazba also bought natural gas from Graystone for October and November, data on ESM's website shows.
In November, ESM Prodazba launched a tender for the procurement of gas of up to 3,500 MWh per day for December, seeking offers which explicitly guarantee that the gas does not originate in Russia. Alternatively, bidders have to commit to paying a transit fee to Bulgaria if the gas originates in Russia, the tender reads.
In October, Bulgaria introduced a fee of 20 levs ($11/10.22 euro) per MWh on Russian natural gas transiting its territory.
North Macedonia's economy minister Kreshnik Bekteshi said in late October that the government has asked Sofia to increase the capacity of the only gas pipeline going through Bulgaria to North Macedonia, so that larger gas quantities can be provided from places other than Russia. Bekteshi also said that Skopje will seek compensation from Bulgaria over the introduction of the gas transit fee.
The gas pipeline going through Bulgaria to North Macedonia is leased to Russia's Gazprom until 2030, according to media reports in North Macedonia.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)
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