Wind energy plants near Bogdanci in south Macedonia

Germany with a KfW bank loan in amount of 60 million euros will enhance the energy sector in Macedonia. Some of the funds, 27.1 million, will be used to revitalise small hydro power plants Globocica, Tikves, Vrutok, Raven, Vrben and Spilje and the rest will be invested in construction of wind power plants near Bogdanci in south Macedonia.

This will be enabled by an agreement, which was signed Monday in Skopje by the governments of Macedonia and Germany, envisaging financial assistance for the second stage of the energy efficiency program and a loan contract signed by the Macedonian government, ELEM company and KfW bank for realisation of the project rehabilitating six hydro power plants.

"The financial assistance is a step forward made by the Government of Macedonia in meeting determined goals to boost the use of renewable energy sources, advance energy efficiency and reduce import dependence on electricity," Vice PM and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski said after signing the documents.

Minister of Economy Fatmir Besimi said that today’s signing of the agreements in fact paved the way towards implementing Macedonia’s energy strategy.

"Both projects are in compliance with the energy strategy and the strategy for energy efficiency and renewable energy sources," said Besimi.

German Ambassador Ulrike Maria Knotz noted that Macedonia needed to reduce its dependency on energy import, adding the country had huge potentials to produce electricity from renewable energy sources.

"The cooperation established between Germany and Macedonia aims to improve the economic and social progress of Macedonia. Today’s event is a step forward in our joint attempts to improve the lives of Macedonian citizens," Ambassador Knotz stated.

ELEM (Macedonian Power Plants) director-general Vlatko Cingovski said he considered the contract to be a successful completion of year-long joint activities and efforts in providing funds for realisation of the project revitalising hydro power plants.

Besides replacement of old equipment, the project includes installment of additional automated devices in the power output process.

KfW Macedonia director Juergen Welschof said the German banking group has so far invested 200 million euros for water supply, sewerage and irrigation systems in Macedonia.

"Today, a cooperation in the energy sector is being launched. I can say that the project is being prepared very fast without any obstacles," he concluded.

KfW is the biggest financier of projects with hydro potential in the Balkans and the biggest financier of projects on wind energy worldwide.

Vice PM Stavreski said that KfW officials had expressed readiness to heighten the cooperation with Macedonia by providing a line of credit in amount of 15 million euros for micro, small and medium enterprises through the Macedonian Bank for Development Support.