INTERVIEW| Marko Bislimoski: We should replace energy from the East and West heating plants with cheaper ones

There is an increasing need for heat energy. In Skopje, there is a developed distribution network, and new apartments are constantly being built. Thermal energy from the East and West heating plants is expensive and we should gradually replace it with cogeneration production. Therefore, I support the construction of the gas plant of Mytilinios, which will sell thermal energy according to the same formula as TE-TO.

The gas power plant of "Mithylineos" should provide a new amount of electricity, but also an additional amount of heat energy. The President of the Energy Regulatory Commission, Marko Bislimoski, says that we need this amount and explains that "Mytilineos" will not displace the production of "TE-TO", but on the contrary, it will complement it. Currently, about 60 percent of the thermal energy is obtained from "TE-TO", but it is a private company that decides when to produce electricity and thermal energy, so there have been examples when in the middle of winter it makes a commercial decision to drastically reduce production. The East and West heating plants produce thermal energy according to old technology, and therefore the price is much higher. Thermal energy from "Mytilineos" should be at least 40 percent cheaper than theirs, that is, it will equal the price from "TE-TO".

 What is your opinion on the new gas plant to be built by the Greek "Mytilineos" and on the solar park, an investment by the French "Akio"?

– I always support investments in the energy sector, and the energy crisis showed how important they were. At that time, the government gave about 400 million euros to subsidize households and the economy. That money was spent on extinguishing a fire, and there is no added value. Gas power plants could be built with that money.
In relation to the announced strategic investments, there was a great noise in the public and various data were presented, most of them incorrect. The fact is that "Stipion" and "Mytilineos" had the obligation to provide the produced electricity and heat to ESM. At the same time, thermal electricity should be 40 percent cheaper than that of the heating plants in Skopje. Second, the thermal energy from "Mytilineos" will go to the central city network, and not to the small network in Zhelezara, as the public is being misled. Additionally, we should not fear new thermal energy production, but embrace it. First of all, in Skopje, where there is a developed distribution network, we have a great potential of households that would be heated with thermal energy. Now, in Skopje, about 60.000 households are heated by thermal energy, and nearly 300.000 by electricity. Absolutely, it is most cost-effective to make a thermal energy system where there are buildings. We have the potential of 200 to 300 megawatts of electricity-heated households to switch to heat, as they will be offered a cheaper price for heat, at least 40 percent.

There is a confusion in the public that we would like to clear up. Does the new gas plant mean additional capacity compared to the TE-TO gas plant, or is the plan to push out the TE-TO?

– TE-TO will not be pushed out. TE-TO and "Mytilineos" will sell thermal energy according to the methodology adopted by the Energy Regulatory Commission. What is true for TE-TO will also be true for Mytileneos. Currently, the price of the thermal power plant that would apply to "Mytilineos" is 2,4 denars per kilowatt-hour, and the price of the East and West heating plants is 5,3 denars. The East and West heating plants are now managed by ESM, and they are much less efficient than the cogeneration heating plants and therefore their price is higher. Currently, about 60 percent comes from TE-TO, but that percentage is different. We insist that as much energy as possible comes from CHP. East and West must work now, but it is necessary to leave them as much as possible with cogeneration production. We have a huge "pool" of households that we need to get to connect to thermal energy at a cheaper price. If we release 200 to 300 megawatts of electricity, ESM will sell it on the free market and earn more.

What do you think about the conditions given for "Mytilineos" and for other power plants built by foreigners? As a state, do we provide them with excessive benefits?

- I publicly propose that the same conditions, the same formula that applies to "Mytilineos", apply to Macedonian companies, and also to our state ESM if it wants to build. I will also request a meeting with the Chamber of Commerce to come to an agreement - where we need cogeneration plants, how much additional capacity we need to install. In just two years, we have 5.000 new residential buildings connected to the heat energy system. Then, thermal energy can be given to some industrial facilities that need it. It can be given to agricultural facilities for early horticultural production, where they are heated with wood or fuel oil, so they cause pollution. So, there is a need for additional covers.
Regarding the investment project "Solar Park Stipion" that will be built by "Aqua Energy", it is planned to sell the energy at a price of 55 euros per megawatt and plus one euro should be given to the municipalities of Stip and Sveti Nikole. I suggest that ESM give the same conditions that apply to "Aqua" to those who have already built photovoltaics, and if they agree, then sign a long-term contract.
Two reputable companies that appear on serious stock exchanges in the world are coming. Let's give the opportunity for new investments in Macedonia.

What is your knowledge, to what extent is the long-announced process of gasification of the state?

- It is not within the competence of the Regulatory Commission, but my knowledge is that the main gas pipelines are being built and are nearing completion. They are already passing by Kavadarci, Prilep, Bitola. Regarding the distribution network, it should be known within a month at the latest who will be the bidder for the tender and whether there will be a bidder at all.

Dear reader,

Our access to web content is free, because we believe in equality in information, regardless of whether someone can pay or not. Therefore, in order to continue our work, we ask for the support of our community of readers by financially supporting the Free Press. Become a member of Sloboden Pechat to help the facilities that will enable us to deliver long-term and quality information and TOGETHER let's ensure a free and independent voice that will ALWAYS BE ON THE PEOPLE'S SIDE.


Video of the day