- North Macedonia has announced €8.2 billion investment plan to enable country’s recovery from the pandemic related challenges
- It has allocated largest chunk of this with €3.1 billion to energy sector, with solar and wind projects taking the lead
- Among several solar projects proposed, the government mentions a facility with 300 MW to 350 MW capacity in Stip
- Government also plans to encourage residential solar installations by designing dedicated programs for the same
The Government of North Macedonia will invest €8.2 billion ($10 billion) on some prominent sectors in the country, including energy, as part of its Intervention Investment Plan (2021-2027) to support the implementation of projects of ‘highest interest’ for the citizens.
These projects can accelerate the development of local economy, said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev while presenting the investment plan which the government termed as a clear and decisive post-covid step to get out of the crisis brought on by the pandemic.
The energy sector takes the largest chunk with €3.144 billion ($4 billion), followed by the road and railway infrastructure sector bagging €2.73 billion ($3.3 billion) of the total.
Solar and wind energy projects claim a large part of the investments. The solar projects that the North Macedonian Prime Minister mentioned in his speech include €70 million to be invested on a 100 MW PV project to reuse a old coal mine in REK Oslomej with the investor obligated to take 1 native as an employee per MW (see North Macedonia To Build 100 MW Solar On Coal Mine Site).
What could be one of the largest solar PV facilities in in the country and possibly in the Balkans on completion, North Macedonia plans to develop a 300 MW to 350 MW PV project in Stip which could either be entirely funded by the government or through a public-private partnership. The project is planned to be located on 477 hectare land, closer to existing substations and transmission lines.
The Prime Minister also said EFT from Serbia has proposed the government to install a 70 MW PV plant worth €50 million in Sveti Nikole region.
A 50 MW solar power plant worth €250 million with German equipment is planned for a steel production facility, for which the North Macedonian government will invest €25 million.
Construction on a 10 MW solar power plant in Oslomej is likely to commence over the next few weeks, according to Zaev, and there is another 10 MW in Oslomej as well as 2×10 MW capacity to come up in REK Bitola for a total investment of €28 million.
Some other PV projects will be developed in Makedonski Brod, Sveti Nikole, Negotino, Brvenica and other places representing a combined capacity of 60 MW and cost €40 million, as per the government plan.
The government also plans to encourage residential solar installations by designing dedicated programs for the same.
Zaev stressed this investment in renewable energy sources will enable the country to shutter its coal power plants by 2027. He added, “We will develop a great strategy to generate investments worth billions in Euros in PV power plants to ensure energy transition of the energy sector in Northern Macedonia.”
The plan relies on €900 million to €1 billion out of €9 billion Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans of the European Union (EU).
In January 2021, Prime Minister Zaev had announced his government’s plans to tender 60 MW solar PV capacity during Q1/2021 (see 60 MW Solar Tender Coming Up In North Macedonia).