DESFA, MER resume talks for Greece-Fyrom pipeline link

Greek gas grid operator DESFA and Fyrom (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) state-run energy company MER Skopje have resumed talks for the development of a pipeline interconnection intended to link the gas grids of the neighboring countries.

Highly ranked MER Skopje officials have been in Athens over the past week for talks with DEFSA officials focused on technical and financial aspects, energypress sources have informed.

DESFA and MER Skopje signed a Memorandum of Cooperation in 2016 for the project, but progress was slow before eventually stalling.

Less than a fortnight ago, MER Skopje and Albagaz signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote a gas grid interconnection plan linking Fyrom and Albania, at a ceremony in Tirana that was attended by ministers of both countries.

Greek licensing procedure delays have been cited as a key reason behind the country’s lack of action in the Greece-Fyrom pipeline interconnection project.

The matter has been further complicated by an initiative taken last year by Russian entrepreneur Leonid Lebedev’s Windows International Hellas for a license to construct a natural gas pipeline from Thessaloniki to Fyrom.

RAE, Greece’s Regulatory Authority for Energy, has yet to deliver licensing decisions on either project.

Skopje is continuing to support the DESFA-MER Skopje project despite the recent MoU signed by MER and Albagaz, according to sources.