Tuesday, June 6, 2023

    Increased US presence in the Western Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean region regarding energy projects

    Last week, a meeting was held between US Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, at which Greece and the United States agreed on enhanced bilateral strategic energy cooperation.

    The main topics of the meeting were issues for further advancement of US energy investments in the region.

    Brouillette also met with Greek Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis to discuss Greek – North Macedonia co-operation on energy, as well as the potential expansion of US energy companies’ activities in renewable energy in Greece.

    US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey R. Pyatt praised “the extremely positive role played by Greece, both in the Eastern Mediterranean and in the Western Balkans.”

    “Now we also see that energy problems are developing as a positive aspect of the Western Balkans talks, with the possibility of using the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the Greek port of Alexandroupolis and Greece – Gas Interconnection “Bulgaria (IGB) to bring gas to North Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia that is not from Russia,” Pyatt added.

    The Government of North Macedonia is holding talks with the American industrial giant “General Electric” about the project for construction of a gas power plant in Bitola. The investment in an 800-megawatt power plant is estimated at 400m euros.

    The new investments in the energy sector are part of the strategy of North Macedonia for the abolition of coal and the transition to the production of electricity from renewable sources and natural gas.

    One month ago, the state-owned energy company Power Plants of North Macedonia (ESM) suspended investments in Bulgaria’s Belene nuclear power plant and shifted its focus to building a gas plant in Greece.