A ROUNDTABLE ON: RELIABILITY IN THE SUPPLY WITH GOODS AND OIL DERIVATIVES- POSSIBILITIES AND ALTERNATIVES
➢ News (17.03.2017)
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A ROUNDTABLE ON: RELIABILITY IN THE SUPPLY WITH GOODS AND OIL DERIVATIVES- POSSIBILITIES AND ALTERNATIVES

The Economic On the 16th of March, 2017, the Economic Chamber of Macedonia organized a roundtable on: "Reliability in the supply of goods and oil derivatives- possibilities and alternatives" in order for the available solutions in the process of reliable supply of goods necessary for the current needs in the economy are discussed in the presence of companies an the state authorities, particularly in conditions of more common blockades that cause halts and rend the road and rail transport of goods towards the Republic of Greece non-functional.

Regarding the losses up to now, it was a general statement that hey are rather significant and cannot be compensated having in mind that the blockades are not accidental and short-lasting. Regarding the amount of the loss, each company makes its own analysis and calculations that besides financial negative aspects can also have other consequences in the business relations of partners as a result of unfulfilled agreed conditions, deadlines, increased costs, trust that at the end puts further cooperation in question. The intensity of the damages, seen from the point of view of different sectors is different and if we start from the data which products are included in our foreign trade with the Republic of Greece it can be said that to the greater extent we are talking about products from the metallurgy, metal processing sector, excise goods (oil and tobacco), as well as textile products and marble, and, of course, logistics operators, transport companies included in the transportation and the two companies "MZ Transport" and "MZ Infrastructure" that lose the possibility for gain from using the cars and the rail infrastructure.

-  When we are thinking about finding proper solutions for overcoming these problems, we should see the greater picture, the loss is not only felt by the private sector in the country, big losses are felt by the whole country as a result of the loss gain for the goods that are in transit. The attractiveness of the Corridor 10 declines because of this and foreign companies go round us and use other roads which in long-term leaves permanent economic consequences, said the president of the Economic Chamber of Macedonia, Branko Azeski.

"Even though the Macedonian fuel market is liberalized and the fuels come from different sources, the main supply of the country comes from the South, mostly from the Hellenic Petroleum Group".

The Macedonian market depends on this supply because the alternative sources cannot satisfy its needs efficiently.

The supply was disrupted for three times already in a period shorter than one year: because of the refugee crisis, the snow on the Greek side of the crossing border point and recently, because of the strike of the Greek agricultural workers. The inefficiency of the rail transport was only an addition to the logistic limitations.

During all the problematic periods "OKTA" succeeded providing supply via its reserves and alternative supply routes. The supply was with increased costs, but undisturbed.

None of these difficulties would have happened if the oil pipeline Vardaks was functioning: the reliability of the supply of the market would have been guaranteed under all conditions.

I would like to use this opportunity and extend my gratitude to the Macedonian authorities that helped during the last crisis as well as the Liaison Office of the Republic of Greece in Macedonia for their support in solving the problems on behalf of Greece."

Ioannis Geroulanos, CEO of "OKTA" AD- Skopje

 Risto Janevski, PhD, head of the Logistics and client services department in "OKTA" AD-Skopje and president of the Association of the Power Supply Industry within the Economic Chamber of Macedonia via his presentation on: "Supply chain of "OKTA" AD-Skopje, challenges and alternatives" completed the picture for the significance the company has in the supply of the Macedonian economy with oil and oil derivatives making appropriate contribution to the concept of the proposed solutions for improving the situations in this field.

Mr. Ivan Petrovski, secretary general of "Fershped" AD- Skopje and president of the Macedonian Transport Association within the Economic Chamber of Macedonia attracted the attention of the present with his comprehensive presentation on "Current situations and new challenges in the transport of goods from the Port of Thessaloniki". In his address, through numbers and data he highlighted the great significance and meaning that the Port of Thessaloniki has for the Macedonian industry compared to the other maritime ports in the near and far surroundings, giving the port a possibility of monopoly in terms of distance, aspect of costs, infrastructure connection, capacity, etc. With the new changes, the concession of the Port of Thessaloniki with a big global maritime operator and the liberalization of the Greek rail transport and the entrance of rail operators it is expected for even bigger decrease of the economic difference to take place, as well as getting closer to the Macedonian economy.

Therefore, Petrovski said, we should not be amazed by the data that 3.322.000 tons of goods went through the Port of Thessaloniki in 2016 and 4.056.840 tons in 2015 of which the amount of goods for the Republic of Macedonia in 2016 is 885.000 in import and export from the Republic of Macedonia. Expressed in percent that is 27%.

The number of containers processed in the Port of Thessaloniki calculated in TEU was 344.316 of which 23.448, or 6,8% are for Macedonia. The data that 98% of the overall number of transport is performed by trucks is rather interesting.


CONCLUSIONS from the roundtable:

•  Having compared all the infrastructural, technical, economic and security aspect regarding the supply chain with different goods and oil derivatives, the Corridor South-North (in the direction Macedonia-Greece) currently has no alternative. 
    Therefore, establishing a full infrastructure functionality of the Corridor 10 and ensuring undisturbed access of goods from and tot he Port of Thessaloniki is the first priority in the activities of all involved stakeholders in the country and in the neighboring countries, both, on behalf of the state authorities and institutions and on behalf of the direct participants in the transport chain, advocating for timely action in the direction of creating normal conditions for undisturbed performance of all mutual export-import business relations.

•  The infrastructure, customs crossing points and terminals at the corridor East-West are not sufficient and is inappropriate for regular supply with goods, and particularly with oil derivatives for a longer period. It can sometimes be of help in extraordinary situations when there is disturbance in the supply performed via the Corridor 10.

•  In the short-term, in case of disturbance of the supply with derivatives and other goods, diversification of the means of transport is necessary (using the railways and tank trucks or trucks) and using more entrance and exit customs crossing points in the country.

• From a strategic point of view, for regular supply with oil derivatives from the Republic of Greece, the use of the pipeline is a necessity.

•  Changes of the legislation for increasing the capacity of the tank volume of trade companies as a condition for obtaining trade licenses.

• By finalizing the privatization process of the Port of Thessaloniki, i.e. it being given under concession, as well as the liberalization of the access towards the Greek infrastructure and entrance of private operators, a liberalization of the relations on several grounds will be provided (avoiding possible strikes, improving the delivery speed, reduced costs...).

Biljana Peeva Gjurikj
Mitko Mitevski