The Zaev Government today issued a press release assuring the public after widespread allegations that waste is being imported in Macedonia to be used as fuel. The allegations have focused on the Greek owned USJE cement factory in Skopje, which also denied reports that it’s burning dirty petroleum coke and textile in its furnaces.

The law strictly proscribes the procedures and conditions necessary to be given a permit to import, export or transit waste through Macedonia based on its origin and character. The use of alternative fuels in USJE is in a fully closed process, using very high temperatures of up to 2.000 degrees Celsius, which means the waste is fully burnt. Speculations that the factory is not using its filters are not correct as they’re linked to the system, and their closure stops the process, the Government said in its press release.

The Government also denied the reports that petroleum coke containing up to 18 percent of sulfur is used in USJE.

It is important to point out that the use of coke is strictly controlled, and the fuel has between 4 and 6 percent sulfur content, in accordance with the existing regulations of the Republic of “North” Macedonia, the Government added.

USJE is situated in a densely populated industrial and residential part of Skopje, which suffers from horrific wintertime air pollution problems.