28thApril 2022, Skopje – European Bank for Reconstruction and Development – EBRD has provided continuous support to the Republic of North Macedonia in implementing the on-going projects, which will also continue in future, pertaining to projects in the field of green energy, road and railroad infrastructure. Investments will play crucial role in achieving economic growth in the upcoming period. Energy crisis proved that significant joint efforts and investments made in the energy sector, as well as ensuring production coming from the domestic capacities are very much required for its overcoming.
This was concluded at the meeting held between Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi and EBRD Vice President for Policy and Partnership, Mark Bowman, EBRD Managing Director for Financial Institutions, Francis Malige and EBRD Head of North Macedonia, Andi Aranitasi.
Minister of Finance underlined the active and dedicated support EBRD provides to the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia in enhancing the preparatory activities and the implementation of the priority projects, thereby expressing his assurance that successful and long-term cooperation between MoF and EBRD will further continue.
Government of the Republic of North Macedonia is taking significant steps to cope with the impact of the price and energy crisis. Amid energy crisis, providing energy products from own resources, i.e. expanding the capacities for electricity generation is important, with the support provided from international institutions, particularly EBRD being welcomed therefor. Se of measures adopted by the Government, aimed at supporting the living standard of the citizens, as well as the liquidity of the companies, amounts to EUR 400 million. For the purpose of cushioning the increase of prices of electricity and heating energy, Budget funds amounting to Denar 10.6 billion has been allocated as support to the Macedonian Power Plants (ESM). In order to preserve the company’s liquidity, EBRD offers financial support for ESM, amounting to EUR 100 million, for which the respective procedure was commenced.
EBRD financial support as regards the energy infrastructure provides for realizing projects pertaining to 10 MW Solar Photovoltaic Plant built near the entrance of the old Oslomej Coal Mine, 30 MW Solar Photovoltaic Plants in Bitola, as well as new Electrical Sub-Station in Ohrid.
What was also stated was that natural gas is crucial for the economic development of our country and that support is needed to complete the financial plan of the cross-border gas interconnector with Greece, for which EUR 25 million has already been provided by the EIB, as well as EUR 12 million as WBIF grant. Investment is estimated at EUR 53 million. Gas pipeline on the sections Sveti-Nikole Veles and Gostivar-Kichevo is also constructed with EBRD support.
During the meeting, it was stressed that Republic of North Macedonia appreciates EBRD support aimed at rehabilitating the eastern part of the railway line along Corridor 8, last section Kriva Palanka – Border with Bulgaria. This Project is one of the Government’s top priorities, given that particular emphasis was put thereon during the latest discussions with Bulgaria. For the purpose of realizing this strategic Project, total of EUR 400 million are to be allocated therefor, i.e. EUR 152.45 million as WBIF grant and EUR 60 million as IPA funds, while the remaining funds will be provided from EBRD and EIB loans.
Significance of the Project for Construction of New Railway Section Kicevo-Border with Republic of Albania as part of Corridor VIII, was also stressed, funds being requested therefor. At the same time, EBRD support in realizing the Project for Construction of Skopje – Blace Highway is of particular importance as well.
Ministry of Finance and Government have an ambitious goal to support the economic recovery and the growth acceleration. They are committed to achieving growth rates of over 5%. Thus, Growth Acceleration Plan offers coordinated support for encouraging public and private sector investments in the priority areas, also presenting the respective sources of financing.
EBRD is the major institutional investor in the Republic of North Macedonia, having invested over EUR 2.2 billion in 159 projects in our country over the past 30 years.