ATHENS — The final investment decision for the construction of an interconnection of the natural gas systems of Greece and North Macedonia is expected to be made within the year.
Environment and Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas is expected to sign an agreement on Friday with North Macedonia's Economy Minister Kreshnik Bekteshi.
It will be preceded by a market test to certify the economic aspects of the project while the construction of the pipeline is expected to begin at the beginning of 2022.
The project is for a 54 km-long pipeline starting from Nea Mesimvria in Greece that will allow the supply of the neighbouring country with natural gas through Greece, utilising the pipeline infrastructure and liquefied natural gas operated by DESFA, the Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator S.A. A memorandum of cooperation has already been signed for the project between the manager and NER, the respective company of North Macedonia, in October 2016. As stated by the CEO of DESFA Maria Rita Galli there is still much to be done, but there is a strong commitment in both countries for building the pipeline.
DESFA also looks forward to funding the project from European sources, despite the EU decision to stop funding fossil fuel-related projects. To this end, efforts are being made by the Administrators of South Europe in order to have a transitional funding period until 2030.