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Dec 01, 2023 12:31 EEST
December 1 (SeeNews) - North Macedonia's power utility Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM) said it is considering an option to introduce a private partner in the management of Unit 1 of the coal-fired power plant REK Bitola, which needs to be modernised in order to stay in operation.
ESM has signed a 5.1 million denars ($90,287/82,830 euro) deal with Croatia's PricewaterhouseCoopers Savjetovanje to carry out a feasibility study for the further operation of the unit, ESM said in a notice published on the country's public procurement portal on November 13.
The study should assess the viability of a private operator managing the modernization and importation of coal for the operation of the unit. It will explore various options for introducing a private partner in the management of the unit, including through a public-private partnership, concession, tolling agreement or operation management.
The government initially planned to close down REK Bitola by 2027 as part of its commitment to phase out coal-fired power by that year. However, due to the energy crisis, the closure date was postponed to 2028 or later. Unit 1 needs to be modernised in order to continue its operations by at least 2025, ESM said.
REK Bitola has three units with a capacity of 233 MW each, according to the website of the state-owned power utility Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM). REK Bitola accounts for over 72% of North Macedonia's total energy production.
(1 euro = 61.57 denars)
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