Bitola power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Bitola power station is a 699-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Novaci, North Macedonia, with a proposed 250 MW gas-fired unit.


The undated satellite below shows the plant in Novaci.

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The plant consists of three 233 MW units, commissioned in 1982 to 1988. The plant and Suvodol Mine comprise North Macedonia's biggest power production complex which accounts for as much as 70% of the country's electricity. The plant is owned and operated by the state-owned ELEM (ELEktrani na Makedonija) (the Macedonian electricity production company, renamed in 2019 to ESM[1]).[2]

In October 2020, ESM said the first unit of the coal power plant would be switched to natural gas within five years. Gas would be supplied from a planned pipeline, as part of a strategy to abandon lignite use altogether in the country. ESM was investing in the modernization of the power plant’s remaining two units so that they could work for ten more years. New solar plants would be built to bridge the power gap as unit 1 was transitioned from coal to gas.[3]

Coal phase out date

As of January 2022, North Macedonia was planning to phase out coal by 2027, decommissioning Oslomej power station in 2021 and REK Bitola by 2027. This was only in planning, according to their draft National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), although it was also submitted through their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) submitted under the Paris Agreement in 2021 (page 7, point d).[4] The decommissioning of Oslomej did not happen in 2021.

In April 2022, ESM announced that they would be developing 280 MW of solar capacity near the Bitola thermal power plant. Coal-phase out was reportedly to occur by 2030.[5]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM)[6]
  • Parent company: Elektrani na Severna Makedonija (ESM)[7]
  • Location: Novaci, North Macedonia
  • Coordinates: 41.05832, 21.484266 (exact)
  • Gross generating capacity (operating): 699 MW
    • Unit 1: Coal-fired, 233 MW (start-up in 1982)
    • Unit 2: Coal-fired, 233 MW (start-up in 1984)
    • Unit 3: Coal-fired, 233 MW (start-up in 1988)
  • Gross generating capacity (proposed): 250 MW
    • Unit 4: Gas-fired[6] unknown technology with CHP[6], 250 MW[6] (start-up in 2026)[8]
  • Type: Subcritical
  • Coal Type: Lignite
  • Coal Source: Suvodol coal mine
  • Source of financing:

Resources and articles


  1. Government orders that ELEM is renamed into “Power Plants of North Macedonia” – ESM, Republika, March 19, 2019
  2. "Coal-Fired Plants in Kosovo & Macedonia," Industcards, accessed April 2016
  3. "North Macedonia to shut REK Bitola coal plant unit in five years, turn to gas". Balkan Green Energy News. 2020-10-20. Retrieved 2020-10-21.
  4. "Enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution," Submission by the Republic of North Macedonia, 2021
  5. "N. Macedonia's ESM to build four PV plants of total 280 MW near Bitola TPP," Renewables Now, April 12, 2022
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 North Macedonia: ESM to replace gas capacity for TPP Bitola unit 1, Serbia Energy, January 29, 2021
  7. Structure - AD ESM, ESM, accessed June 10, 2021
  8. Unit 1 of Macedonian Bitola TPP to Be Converted to Gas By 2026, Energetika, January 29, 2021

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