EBRD boost for decarbonisation in Macedonia

The bank is lending €5.9m to Macedonian state-owned electricity company ELEM

Photo: ELEM

Macedonian plans to move decisively forward with decarbonisation have received a boost in the form of a 5.9 million-euro loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to ELEM, the state-owned electricity company. The loan is intended to fund the country’s first large-scale solar power plant built on the site of an exhausted lignite coal mine in the town of Kicevo, 112 kilometres from the capital Skopje and is part of FYROM's goal to generate 23 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

"This project will help the country reduce its reliance on ageing lignite-fired infrastructure and also help the local community in the Kicevo municipality, traditionally reliant on lignite mining and generation, to develop more sustainable practices," the EBRD said, adding that ELEM will meet the rest of the total cost, estimated at €8.7m.

ELEM provides 90% of the country’s domestic electricity production – about 3,600 GWh from two thermal power plants and 1,250 GWh from eight hydro power plants. The company also operates two combined heat and power facilities and the first wind farm in the country, which produce about 100 GWh per year. Once operational, the new solar plant would become company’s first and will be the largest in Macedonia. Furthermore, it will produce nearly 15 GWh a year of electricity and displace 12,177 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

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