Macedonia has invited consultancy companies to express interest in conducting a feasibility study of the country's renewable energy sources, the Economy Ministry said on Wednesday.
"The selection of the interested companies will be made in two phases. The first one is expected to pre-qualify the bidders according to their economic, financial and technical capabilities," the project's coordinator at the Economy Ministry, Olgica Dinova, told SeeNews.
In the second stage the bidders would be asked to meet detailed criteria for choosing the consultant and announce their filnal price, Dinova added. Potential bidders should send their letters of interest no later than August 15.
"We expect to finish the procedure of choosing a consultant at the end of September," she said.
In April the ex-Yugoslav state of nearly two million people announced plans to develop large-scale energy projects by 2015, including the construction of new power plants, electricity interconnections and expansion of its gas supply network.
Macedonia is a mountainous country with many rivers and a big wind energy potential. The hydropower generation potential of the country is estimated at 3,900 terajoules (TJ) per year, but only 270 TJ is used now. Joule is a basic unit of thermal energy and 3.6 TJ equals one gigawatt hour of electricity.
No wind farm projects have been developed in the country so far.
Now Macedonia imports about 40% of the electricity it consumes. Investments in the energy sector have been negligible over the last several years.
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