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N. Macedonia to fire up TEC Negotino power plant amid energy crisis

N. Macedonia to fire up TEC Negotino power plant amid energy crisis Author: Bert Kaufmann Licence: Creative Commons

SKOPJE (N. Macedonia), November 26 (SeeNews) - North Macedonia's government said it will temporary relaunch fuel oil-fired power plant TEC Negotino, which has been dormant for 12 years, to meet demand during the ongoing energy crisis.

The government gave the nod to state-owned electricity producer ESM to procure fuel oil and produce electricity at TEC Negotino from December to April 2022, it said in a statement on Thursday.

ESM will use the electricity generated by TEC Negotino to meet the needs of households and power transmission company AD MEPSO, whereas the excess electricity will be sold on the open market to domestic businesses at lower than stock market prices.

The government said it will financially support the purchase of fuel oil for the power plant in its first month of operation.

TEC Negotino has a total capacity of 180 MW. The power plant, which started operating in 1978, has not generated electricity since 2009, mostly due to high production costs.

In 2020, North Macedonia's prime minister Zoran Zaev said that the government was considering converting TEC Negotino to a natural gas-fired power plant through a public-private partnership or selling the existing facility.

Earlier this month, the government declared a 30-day state of crisis after production at the REK Bitola coal-fired power plant was halted on several occasions due to malfunctions. REK Bitola is North Macedonia's primary electricity generation capacity. At the same time, ESM is facing shortages of coal, despite announcing plans to increase power output from coal to meet demand from local companies during the energy crisis.