DESFA, Fyrom’s MER sign MoU for gas pipeline interconnection

The top officials of DESFA, Greece’s natural gas grid operator, and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Fyrom) energy company MER have signed a memorandum of understanding for construction of a 160-kilometer gas pipeline to interconnect the two neighboring countries.

The MoU, signed by DESFA president Sotiris Nikas and his counterpart at MER, Krste Miladinov, concerns a pipeline planned to run from Nea Mesimvria in northern Greece to Stip in Fyrom. It will provide Fyrom with direct LNG supply from Greece’s terminal in Revythoussa, an islet just off Athens.

The interconnection will also allow Fyrom to connect to the major TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline) project in progress as well as other prospective nearby gas corridors such as Turkish Stream or South Stream.

The DESFA chief said two working groups will now be set up to focus on a feasibility study, the corridor’s design and construction.

The prospect of the development of a gas pipeline linking Greece and Fyrom was first mentioned last spring by Greek energy minister Panos Skourletis during a speech at an energy-sector event, Athens Energy Forum. The respective foreign ministers of both countries then signed a preliminary agreement last August during a vist to Skopje by Greece’s foreign minister Nikos Kotzias.