Citywide blackout creates panic in Skopje

Citywide blackout creates panic in Skopje
By Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje February 13, 2022

A breakdown of a transmission line and a fire near a substation caused most of North Macedonia’s capital Skopje and two other regions to be left without electricity on February 13, transmission operator MEPSO announced.

The power cut lasted from around 5.15 pm until 5.50 pm and caused panic among citizens, fearing that a lack of electricity because of the energy crisis could have been the reason for the interruption of the electricity supply.

“The breakdown of the transmission line from substation Skopje 4 to substation Bunardzik and a fire near the substation was the reason for the interruption of electricity supply in most of Skopje, parts of the city of Veles and the Ovce Pole region,” MEPSO said in the statement.

This caused the outage of two 400/110 kV transformers and the entire Skopje 4 substation in Pintija neighbourhood, according to the statement.

The Bunarzik substation supplies electricity for the Bunardzik free industrial zone near Skopje.

After the intervention of MEPSO’s dispatchers, the electricity supply has been restored in Skopje and the defects have been isolated. The reason for the incident is yet to be announced.

Meanwhile, North Macedonia’s Energy Chamber of Commerce has called for a protest against the hike of electricity prices to take place on February 25 due to the growing discontent among companies and citizens.

The global energy crisis that hit North Macedonia has forced the country to import high-priced electricity from international markets, due to the lack of domestic production.

As a result of the energy crisis, the price of electricity for households rose by 9.48% starting from January 1, while heating energy prices for the city of Skopje grew by 14.05%. Companies and citizens are complaining that their January electricity bills are much higher than expected.