VMRO-DPMNE warns about a new contract signed by the ELEM/ESM energy producing company, that points out to plans to shut down the second largest coal plant in Macedonia.

The contract is signed with the Bitola based Markovski company, which is winning major contracts with ELEM linked to the Bitola coal plant. In several recent instances, Markovski would win the contract even after it submitted a higher bid that its competitors.
But the more recent contract involves TEC Oslomej, the 125MW plant near Kicevo. The plant was built in the 1980ies and its coal mine is considered largely exhausted, but was very important in overcoming the major energy crisis sparked in 2022 by the war in Ukraine and mismanagement of ELEM. The contract awarded to Markovski involves almost 2 million EUR for dismantling relay stations from TEC Oslomej.

There was only one competitor in the bid – Markovski company – and they were able to guess the exact allocated sum, which was supposed to be secret. The purpose is to close the plant down, and this will leave thousands of workers in Kicevo without jobs, VMRO-DPMNE said in a statement. In less than three years, Markovski has won 163 million EUR in contracts from ELEM.

The outgoing SDSM – DUI Government seems determined to close down Macedonia’s coal plants, even though they provide the backbone of energy independence, and is pushing alternative sources of energy – such as heavily subsidized solar and wind power. Part of the coal pit in Kicevo has been covered in solar panels as part of this scheme. For actual baseline production, just months before the elections the Government began to heavily promote a Greek gas plant project, after a Greek hydro plant project failed.