The end of 2020 saw significant progress in the gas market of North Macedonia. On 28 December 2020, the Assembly of North Macedonia adopted a law authorizing the Government to sign an agreement resolving the dispute between Makpetrol AD Skopje and the Republic of North Macedonia. Immediately after, a settlement agreement was signed by the parties. The agreement marks the end of a dispute that had been paralyzing the country’s gas sector development for the past 23 years.
The Government is now entitled to purchase Makpetrol AD Skopje’s 50% stake in GA-MA, a company operating as a transmission system operator between the North Macedonia-Bulgaria border and Skopje. The parties also committed to withdraw all pending court proceedings in relation to the dispute. With no ownership issues pending, the unbundling of the gas transmission system operator is expected to be finalized by the end of 2021.
The parties had agreed to the resolution of the dispute already in November 2019, during a mediation session in Vienna. The dispute was mediated by Dirk Buschle.