Greek cooperation with FYROM on energy issues ahead of referendum


“Energy diplomacy” between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is growing ahead of the crucial referendum in FYROM over its name change.

On Monday and Tuesday Greece’s Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis will be in Skopje to participate in a meeting on the course of three energy infrastructure projects of common interest to the neighboring countries, which Stathakis has said are not contingent on the implementation of last June’s Greece-FYROM agreement.

The first project concerns the natural gas pipeline plan to link Nea Mesimvria in Thessaloniki with Gevgelija, forming part of Greek gas grid operator DESFA’s 10-year program for the development of its transmission system – although Greek energy regulator RAE has not yet approved it.

Another topic will be the resumption of operations of the oil and fuel pipeline linking the Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE) refinery in Thessaloniki with that of OKTA, HELPE’s subsidiary in Skopje.

Talks will further focus on the upgrading of the electrical interconnection between the two countries, with the Greek and FYROM ministers expected to decide in its favor.