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The construction of gas pipeline network at standstill due to the corona virus crisis
Published on: 06/05/2020 NER JSC SKOPJE

The resolving of property and legal relations and the adoption of infrastructure projects for changes during construction have caused certain delays in the construction of the gas pipeline network during these two months while the corona virus crisis lasts, the National Energy Resources Director Bajram Redzepi says in a statement for "Meta.mk".

"We made every effort to continue the implementation of the projects and we succeeded. Of course it is not possible everything to go according to the planned dynamics during a pandemic. The stagnation was in resolving the property and legal relations, since all the disputes in the property and legal affairs office were postponed. The second problem is the adoption of infrastructure projects for changes during construction, because opinions are expected from various institutions and during a pandemic it goes very slowly, but there are also other problems", Redzepi says.

The director of NER informed that the section Negotino-Bitola is almost 90% built. This section, if no additional issues arise should be completed until the middle of the year.

“There is a stagnation in section Skopje-Tetovo-Gostivar and lower realization due to the reasons I stated previously and we will certainly need more time to fully complete it”, Redzepi adds.

The construction of the transmission network, as the director of NER informed will also continue to develop after completing the current sections. The ring Gostivar-Kicevo-Ohrid-Bitola will be closed and branches will be built to all cities around the ring, as well as other interconnections to Bulgaria, Kosovo, Serbia and Albania.

“These projects are included in our medium and long-term plans. The distribution network will be built after the completion of the public-private partnership procedure and the signing of the contract with the private partner. The first phase, which covers most of the municipalities and consumers, will be built in the first four years and will be developed until the end of the concession period ", he adds.

According to the latest decision of the Government, the public call for hiring a private partner for construction of the natural gas distribution system on the entire territory of the country lasts until June 9, but according to Redzepi the situation could disrupt the course in this first phase of establishing a public-private partnership and that deadline to be postponed.

"My personal opinion is that the deadline should be extended, since the borders are closed for a very long time and maybe more companies have not been able to obtain the tender documentation, putting them in an unequal position. However, the government, as a concessionaire, should decide on the extension of the first phase", Redzepi says.

One of the conditions in the tender documentation for the public-private partnership is that the household outlet should not cost more than EUR 100. Redzepi says that if the tender is completed successfully, the connection price will certainly be EUR 100 or maybe lower.