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Prices will fall as gas consumption increases
Published on: 18/01/2019 NER JSC SKOPJE

 Besides reduced energy costs, both for the households and companies, reduced greenhouse gas emissions in the air, there will be also many other benefits for the citizens in Macedonia if the gasification network gets expanded in the country and natural gas becomes available to the households.

The benefits will be enormous. Natural gas is the most environmentally-friendly and cheapest energy fuel for use, both in the households and the industry. If we take into account the level of the ambient air pollution, the electricity price, the central heating price, the purchasing power of an average family in Macedonia, rapid gasification is the only solution for these problems, the Executive Director of NER, Bajram Redzepi says.

He adds that it is necessary to create conditions for low-cost connection, cheap transmission price, competitiveness, subsidies or cheap loans for adjusting the internal installations and equipment, but also for diversification of the sources of supply.

-The rapid increase of gas consumption will also contribute to the reduction of prices. But in order to achieve this, the distribution network development model should be well defined, considering the best European experiences. If we provide conditions for low-cost prices to the final consumer, the interest will be high. I am convinced that this is possible if we see the prices in the region - Redzepi notes.

The gasification in Skopje, as well as the other larger cities in Macedonia, will positively affect not only in economic terms but also in environmental and energy terms. The energy costs in the households and the business community will be reduced, and new job positions will be created by engaging construction enterprises for the construction of the infrastructure. Also, there will be an increase in the security of energy supply, energy efficiency and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and greater environmental protection. Natural gas will replace the already used fuels that emit greater amount of harmful substances such as the heavy fuel oil, the extra light oil and the firewood in the heating process.

-According to the world's scientific studies, thermal power plants that use natural gas as a fuel emit 50-60% less carbon dioxide compared to coal-fired power plants. Vehicles that use natural gas as fuel emit 15-20% less carbon dioxide compared to vehicles that use gasoline.

The commercial sector will be provided with a low-cost fuel in order to increase competitiveness, that is, lower production prices for products and services offered on the market, improving the conditions level for quality conducting of public activities, raising the environmental standards, providing funds for new investments from savings and the local economic development - the Ministry of Economy says.

The Energy Law stipulates that the natural gas distribution systems on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia can be constructed by legal entities on the basis of a public-private partnership agreement awarded by the Government and a public service concession contract awarded also by the government, by which the concessionaire commits oneself to build and operate the new natural gas distribution system.

Also, a natural gas distribution system can be built and managed by a public enterprise or other legal entity established by the local self-government unit. But if there is already a system that is not sufficiently used in a certain area, the procedure will not be implemented.

-This legal solution enables municipalities in case they have their own funds to establish a public enterprise for performing the activity of distribution of natural gas, which according to the old law did not exist. Municipalities have the opportunity to start the procedure for construction of new distribution systems for natural gas through public-private partnership as well, whereby the procedure is implemented by the Government –the Ministry says.

Potential users of natural gas are the households, that is, houses and apartments or buildings, as well as the commercial and service sectors and facilities in the industry. The feasibility study of 2015 envisages a significant reduction in the cost for heating for the citizens if they choose gas.

For each investor, the first priority for the construction of the distribution gas networks are the industrial consumers, their distance from the planned section and their consumption, since the investment in the construction of the distribution network is high. Regarding the construction of the secondary gasification network, we believe that the interest of the citizens should be encouraged through campaigns, information gatherings, questionnaires, because the use of natural gas is choice of the citizens and if they have economic interest, taking into account the other benefits of use of natural gas, the expectations are that they will choose natural gas - the Ministry of Economy says.