Sunday, June 08, 2008

Macedonia will get gas infrastructure

By the end of this year, Macedonia and the Russian Federation will sign the deal to close out the Russian Kliring (Vzaimozachet) debt.

Russia owes $60 mln to Macedonia, and the money will be paid out in a gasification project, as confirmed by diplomatic sources. All of Macedonia will be covered by a gas network, and the total cost is expected at $80 mln, however Macedonia would pay only $20 mln, the rest are covered by the Kliring debt.

This project is well known. Macedonians insisted on getting this project off the ground instead of receiving a cash payment. There are already gas pipes in Kumanovo, however new pipes will be put in place that will lead to Sveti Nikole, Stip, Veles.

Engineers are looking at the possibility of Veles' pipes getting through to Prilep and Bitola. The only questions mark is the Strumica region, however, the solution for this region is to connect to the Russian gas pipes via Petric, Bulgaria.

A network plan had been created for the capital city as well. According to the information available, the project should last three years.

The gasification of Macedonia is known for a while now, there were numerous chances to sign the contract with the Russians, it is not known why this had been dragged out.

Sources familiar with the problematics of this project say Macedonia would connect straight to the Russian pipes, which is very important. Macedonian experts have long warned that the country will have lack of electric power in a region where everyone borrows electricity from someone else.

With this project, Macedonia will get its money owed by Russia, at the same time create gas infrastructure accross the country.

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