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The Ministry of Economy yesterday launched the Public call for awarding agreement for establishing a public-private partnership for financing, designing, building, managing, maintaining and developing the natural gas distribution system, informed the Minister of Economy Kreshnik Bekteshi.
The press conference was attended by the Director of JSC "National Energy Resources" Barjam Redzepi.
As the Minister Bekteshi informed, the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia in December 2019 adopted a Decision to initiate a procedure for awarding agreement for establishing a public-private partnership for financing, designing, building, managing, maintaining and developing the natural gas distribution system in the Republic of North Macedonia. This procedure is intended to be conducted as a competitive dialogue procedure in accordance with the Law on Concessions and Public Private Partnerships and the Law on Public Procurements.
"This Public Call begins the first phase of the process of hiring a private partner to build a natural gas distribution system throughout the country. According to the Public Call this phase will last 120 days, that is, all interested investors will have deadline until 9 June to apply, followed by the opening of bids”, emphasized Minister Bekteshi.
As the Minister pointed out, the realization of this project is about EUR 300 million and will be implemented in three phases with a predetermined dynamics.
"Under the terms of the Call, interested investors must have at least 5 years of experience in natural gas distribution, the company applying for the Public Call will also need to have at least 100,000 customers connected to their distribution system, to have at least distributed 3 billion m3 in the last 3 years, and at least EUR 150 million in annual revenue in the last 3 years”, said Bekteshi, stressing that he expects the entire investor selection process to be completed by the fourth quarter of this year.
Minister Bekteshi added that the second phase will be followed by the submission of applications, where all interested companies will be invited to a competitive dialogue where they will submit their financial bids if they meet the conditions given in the first phase.
The Director of JSC "National Energy Resources" Bajram Redzepi informed that the final stage is the construction of the national gas pipeline, that is, it should be fully completed by the middle of the year, and continues the intensive work on interconnection with the neighboring countries.
"Most of the conditions have already been created to bring gas to all households, which is the goal of this Government, and to make it cheap. We expect that by the end of the year we will have an agreement to establish a public-private partnership, which we expect that in the fourth quarter we will start construction in several cities, but of course next year will be the year of massive construction of the distribution network in the country”, said Director Redzepi.
According to Redzepi, the entire construction will take about four years and according to the feasibility study the private partner who will be selected will have an obligation within no more than four years of receiving each individual building permit to build at least 50% in city municipalities and at least 20 % in rural municipalities of the envisaged primary natural gas distribution grid.
"One of the conditions in the Public Call is that the household outlet should not cost more than EUR 100, but an internal adaptation of home appliances according to a feasibility study calculated on an apartment of about 85 square meters will cost around EUR 1,500 on average, but I expect the costs will be smaller because of the high competition in this sector”, the Director informed.
The Director emphasized that there is currently a great deal of interest in many foreign companies that will respond to the Public Call and expects success in implementing the Public Call.