Construction of "Macedonian Gas Pipeline" begins

This weekend, the Russian company Stroytransgaz kicked off the construction of gas pipeline section Klecovce­-Bloc Station 5 within the project for construction of a national gas distribution system in Macedonia. Stroytransgaz will build 61km of the 96,6-km-­long Klecovce­-Negotino gas pipeline by June 2016. The cost of the entire project stands at $75.7 million, secured through repayment of the outstanding debt between Russia and Macedonia.

The official launch event was attended by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, Deputy PM Zoran Stavreski, Transport Minister Mile Janakieski, Directors of joint-­stock company Macedonian Energy Resources and Russian company Stroytransgaz, Krste Miladinov and Oleg Sirgeyev and Russian Ambassador Oleg Shcherbak.

Government officials said that the construction of this gas pipeline is of great importance for Macedonia enabling gas to be accessible on the entire territory to ordinary citizens and companies. What we have been speaking for years and years today is becoming a reality, Gruevski said underlining that they were working hard to get to this stage.

“This section is first to be built because it will enable further expansion across the country. All major places will be connected as planned. Next destinations which we plan to build are from Stip to Kavadarci, through Prilep to Bitola and Ohrid, from Stip to Radovis – Strumica – Gevgelija to the Greek border, from Strumica to Novo Selo and Bulgarian border, from Skopje – Tetovo – Gostivar through Kicevo – Struga to Kafasan and Albanian border”, Gruevski said.

The use of gas will have positive influence in production of electricity by state electric power plants. Their modernization and adaptation will mean reduction of costs for production and improvement of environment aspect in their work. By this, Macedonia will get cheaper and environmentally more acceptable alternative of crude oil, Gruevski said.

Capital investments as construction of gas pipeline, highways, railroads, airports, new factories, hydro power plants, schools, boulevards, sport halls according to Gruevski are large projects, which are result of government’s commitment and hard work.

The route of new gas pipeline from Kleckovce, as planned should be connected with the existing Kriva Palanka – Skopje gas pipeline. It will pass near Stip industrial zone. Additional financial means should be provided for the rest of the route from Negotino and Kavadarci. The gas pipeline will be connected with Negotino's thermo-­electric power plant.

The road to realisation of this project was very hard and full of challenges, Deputy PM Stavreski said. But now we are satisfied adding that it took a lot of manpower for realisation of this project. We were also criticized during the realisation of the project but also this gave us confidence and strength that we are on the right path.

The promise given in the government’s programme starts to be realised today, Janakieski said, adding that the final goal is gasification of entire country. We have worked hard in the past several, also with the aim of secondary gas pipeline. If everything goes as planned, the gasification of cities will begin in 2016 and by 2022 the entire gas pipeline network will be constructed on entire territory in Macedonia, Janakieski said.

The Director of joint-­stock company "Macedonian Energy Resources" Miladinov said that the project will open new era in energy sector in Macedonia and will improve the quality of living for every citizen. It will provide stability in energy supply in the country, protection of environment and create new jobs as well.

Russian company Stroytransgaz director Oleg Sirgeyev said that the construction of the first section of gas pipeline will be part of huge project for construction of gas pipeline network in Macedonia. The project will provide energy in every household and citizens will be provided with better living conditions, Sirgeyev said, adding that this will enable development and strengthening of business and political relations between Macedonia and Russia.

Russian Ambassador Oleg Shcherbak said that successful project completion will play very important role in further social and economic promotion of Macedonia, resolving environmental and other problems. It will give additional stimulus in increase of this energetic, industrial and investment potential as well as towards fruitful and mutual cooperation between Russian and Macedonian companies.