Innovation and Economic Integration | Stories 2015

FYR Macedonia

Connecting Albanian and Macedonian energy markets

The EBRD is boosting the regional integration of energy markets in the Western Balkans with a loan of up to €37 million to Montenegrin electricity operator MEPSO to construct the first electricity interconnector between Albania and FYR Macedonia and improve the efficiency of the Macedonian grid.

This project is part of the European Commission’s initiative to establish an East-West electricity transmission corridor between Bulgaria, FYR Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and Italy. The corridor includes a planned submarine cable from Montenegro to Italy, an important step towards establishing a regional electricity market. Supporting crucial regional cross-border infrastructure and creating larger integrated energy markets also increases energy security.

The financing will support the construction of the Macedonian portion of the planned 400 kV cross-border electricity connection. It will be used to build the transmission infrastructure from the south-western Macedonian city of Bitola to the Albanian border, with a substation at Ohrid, and to implement grid-efficiency components.

The Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) funded the project’s feasibility study, the environmental and social impact assessment and the preparation for the main design.  Separately, the EU is also co-financing the project with a €12 million grant provided under the WBIF Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA) 2015 funds. In addition, Luxembourg is providing funds for technical assistance to MEPSO.