FYROM expects sharp jump in energy imports

SKOPJE (SeeNews) – The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) said yesterday it expects an 80 percent rise in power imports next year to 2.994 billion kWh, due to expected higher demand and lower domestic production. The country expects to produce 5.935 billion kWh of electricity in 2006, down by some 8 percent from this year, the Economy Ministry said in a statement. Total power consumption next year is estimated at 8.929 billion kWh, up from 8.122 billion kWh in 2005. «The higher electricity demand is to come from the expected launch of all production capacities at the Skopje-based ferroalloys mill RZ Topilnica, the introduction of new technology in the ferronickel plant Feni, as well as the full restart of operations at the Bucim copper mine,» the ministry said. The country expects to spend 450 million euros ($533.6 million) on buying electricity, gas, coal and coke in 2006. The country foresees its gas imports at 80 million cubic meters next year, up from 77.3 million cubic meters in 2005. «The rise reflects the planned higher consumption by the heating utility Toplifikacija, cement factory Usje, steel producer Balkan Steel, steel pipe factory 11 Oktomvri and power distributor ESM,» the statement read. The ex-Yugoslav republic of 2 million people will import 114,380 tons of coal in 2006, and an estimated 834,100 tons of oil derivatives.