Persistent Organic Pollutants Unit



NIP Document

Handbook on PCBs in electrical equipment



Project 1:

Enabling activities to facilitate early action on the implementation of the Stockholm Convention on POPs in the Republic of Macedonia

Project implementation

Activities: May 2002 – December 2004

Establishment of the institutional framework

  1. Upon signing the Stockholm Convention a Steering Committee was established. Consisted of representatives of the considered stakeholders (Ministries, University, private sector, NGOs), it was responsible for supervision of the project implementation.
  2. 2. In May 2002, the National POPs Unit under the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning was created. Its main role was to coordinate the project on NIP preparation and NIP and SC provisions implementation in the future.

Funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented in cooperation with UNIDO, the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning/POPs Unit during the 2004 prepared the first National Implementation Plan on Reduction and Elimination of POPs. The strategic document was adopted by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia in January 2005.

NIP preparation took two years. The National POPs Unit coordinated all the project activities.

Project phases

  1. Establishment of the task teams for preliminary inventory preparation: five task teams on different POPs fields were created (pesticides, PCBs, unintentional products ,legislation issues, environmental and health impact assessment);
  2. Preliminary inventory preparation;
  3. Priority setting;
  4. NIP definition and endorsement by considered stakeholders.

Project results


  1. Inventory of the existing legal and institutional framework connected with POPs management – General conclusions:
    • No multi-ministerial and multi-sectoral approach in POPs management. Permanent coordination body to be organized.
    • Existing legislation is old and approximation and harmonization to EU and international agreements is necessary.

  2. Preliminary inventory of POPs pesticides:
    • No POPs pesticides have been produced in the Republic of Macedonia. The Law on Plant Protection banned the application of POPs pesticides from 1982 on. Stockpiles of the former use of pesticides have not been assessed in details. Additional analyses for the evaluation of the present situation are to be made. DDT,Toxaphene, Endrin and Hexachlorobenzene must be banned by modification through existing legislation. Regular analysis on residuals of organochlorine pesticides in imported food should be part of the monitoring system in the country.

  3. Preliminary inventory of PCBs:
    • In the Republic of Macedonia, most of the equipment and the total amount of insulating oils are imported. Preliminary inventory was carried out based on the total amount of equipment in the country, the age and the type of equipment. Based on the field analyses there are indicators that approximately 45-50% of the equipment is contaminated or cross-contaminated with PCBs. Further actions require identification, detailed analysis and inventory of the transformers oils quantities of liquid dielectric. It must be considered that stocks of PCB containing spare oils still exist.

  4. Preliminary inventory of DDT:
    • In the Republic of Macedonia the import and use of DDT has been banned since 1982. The last application was in 1973 for plant protection of forest areas. There is a preliminary inventory on DDT residues in soil and cow milk, carried out by the POPs Unit during the year 2003. Obsolete stocks of DDT are estimated at about 2, 5 tons. Its management is included in the NIP action plan. These stocks of DDT are in a procedure to be transported to the incineration facility in Switzerland to final disposal.
    • Further analyses for potential stockpiles should be carried out in the country.

  5. Preliminary inventory of PCDDs and PCDFs:
    • According to the results obtained through estimations, the major source of PCDDs and PCDFs releases is uncontrolled combustion (80% of the releases in the air) .
    • Also waste incineration and power generation and heating can pose a serious threat to the environment and human health


  1. Detailed inventory of POPs chemicals
  2. Establishment of the National POPs Center
  3. Inventory on "hot spots" in the Republic of Macedonia
  4. Preventing uncontrolled waste combustion
  5. PCB/OCP containing waste management
  6. Preparation of new and superstructure of the existing Legislation
  7. Monitoring of the POPs compounds
  8. Equipment and staff training on POPs
  9. Public awareness and education
  10. Evaluation of the adverse effects on human health
  11. Screening of POPs bioaccumulation
  12. Measures for reduction of dioxins and furans
  13. Control of PAHs


To transform these priorities into activities the second part of the NIP contains seventeen action plans. They detail what management options are the most feasible in meeting the objectives of the NIP.

The inventory findings are considered as the starting point and the actions are based on the resources identified in these assessments.

Project 2:

"Energy Efficiency Distribution Program" - Swiss assistance - SECO
Project for ESM to assist the Republic of Macedonia in improving the efficiency in the energy distribution system of ESM.

To assist the Republic of Macedonia to phase-out PCBs equipment (PCB containing low voltage capacitors) from national electric power company (Elektro Stopanstvo na Makedonija - ESM) (now EVN) and to establish a knowledge and management capacity for exchanging experiences, to promote collaborative best practices, learning and training of personnel to follow the activities in other sectors and assist to the Ministry of the Environment and Physical Planning in establishment of control mechanisms for safe handling and disposal of PCBs equipment and wastes, the Component IV is included in the Energy Efficiency Distribution Program.

Project objectives: Identification, labeling, inventory, transport, temporary storage and final disposal/destruction of PCB containing equipment in National Power Production and Supply Company.

Component IV: Phasing out of low and medium voltage capacitors

The implementing agency at the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning is the POPs Unit with consultancy of ETI (Environmental Technology International) - Switzerland. The ESM Company has appointed the specialists to work on the Component IV.

POPs Unit activities for the period 01.01.2005-30.11.2005

  • Inventory of Capacitors was prepared. Total number of low voltage capacitors at ESM is 996. The total number of contaminated capacitors is 494, 150 were suspected due to missing of the name plate and 352 capacitors did not contain PCB. At same time all the capacitors were properly labeled.
  • Inventory and sampling of the transformers was also conducted. The total number of low voltage transformers is 1026. In addition an inventory on high voltage transformers was performed at ESM and HEPS Mavrovo and at Rade Koncar for transformers that are for maintenance, MZT- Factory for gray and nodular cast iron and Al-Si alloys ŇEPS Bitola, ŇEPS Oslomej and Construction Company” Pelagonija”. All the transformers were properly labeled.
  • PCB stock was assessed. The total number of medium voltage capacitors at ESM is 614. The total weight of the PCB contaminated stock is 20.929 kg.
  • Processing of collected data from the eco cards in the specially prepared software.
  • 119 samples taken during the field visits of the substations were analyzed with L2000DX analyzer.
  • The results of the analyses were entered into database. (Data available upon request). The analyses with the non-specific methods showed that the concentration of chlorine in 27 samples was over 50 ppm. Thus, 27 samples were sent in ETI, Chur, Switzerland, to verify the presence of PCB in these samples. Out of 27 samples GC analysis showed that 3 (three) samples contain above 50 ppm PCB.
  • During April, May and June,2005 POPs Unit staff reviewed, adapted and translated in Macedonian language the draft version of "Handbook on PCBs in electrical equipment" prepared by ETI.
  • In May, 2005 POPs Unit-Ministry of Environment and physical planning organized public tribune in order to convince the mayor and the citizens of City Veles that the interim storage would not harm to the local population. Unfortunately, the proposal was refused.
  • In June,2005 in order to find the other most appropriate location /facility intended to be central interim storage, ESM and POPs Unit together with ETI representatives, made few field visits and decided to choose Butel in Skopje as an interim storage location.
  • In June and September,2005 field visits were conducted in Tetovo, Gostivar and Kichevo to determine the condition of the suspected capacitors.
  • Definition of the suspected capacitors and determination of the final number of the PCB containing capacitors.
  • In October,2005 a field visit in Cement factory - Titan – Usje was conducted for the inventory of PCB containing capacitors purposes. The total number of low and medium voltage capacitors at Cement factory is 162. The total weight of the PCB contaminated stock is 7.731 kg.
  • Safety & Proceeding Manual, prepared by ETI for the Training II purposes was reviewed, adapted and translated in Macedonian.
  • In November (22-24.11.2005) in cooperation with ETI and ESM Training II was organized. This training was consisted of theoretical and practical parts concerning the safe handling of PCB containing equipment.

POPs Unit activities in the frames of the "Efficient Energy distribution Programme' for the period December 1st, 2005 – June 1st, 2006

  • December,2005 – The Notification Procedure regarding the PCB transportation has started including the contract between Valorec AG and Elektrostopanstvo na Makedonija, Consents issued both by the Swiss SAEFL and the Macedonian Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning. All contacts and correspondences from MEPP were linked via POPs Unit.The documentation in accordance with the Basel Convention was obtained by the MoEPP with technical assistance by the POPs Unit in providing the information or documents necessary for the whole procedure.
  • From January, 2006- June, 2006 - POPs Unit coordinated the Notification Form procedure for the Transfrontier Movement of PCB Waste (Notification CH-0001772) and also involved in the following activities:
    • Control of substations to ensure that packaging occurs according to the packaging loading lists given in the "Safety and Proceedings Manual",
    • Control of transport of drums to central collection site in Butel,
    • Control of central collection site in Butel,
    • Compilation of Macedonian customs documentation and transport paperwork
    • Assist Consultants with supervision of loading exercise and Container loading list
    • Taking samples for analyzing purposes. Doing analyzes on L2000.
  • July 12, 2006 – Four Containers with PCB waste arrived at Valorec, Basel and were incinerated in the environmentally sound manner.

Task team of the Component IV:

Mr. Marin Kocov - MoEPP/POPs Unit - coordinator
Mr. Aleksandar Mickovski - MoEPP/POPs Unit
Ms. Suzana Andonova - MoEPP/POPs Unit
Mr. Antonio Nedelkov - MoEPP/POPs Unit
Ms. Emilija Cupeva - MoEPP/POPs Unit
Mr. Filip Angelovski - MoEPP/POPs Unit co-opted from Finiks Software Company
Ms. Vilma Minovska - ESM - coordinator
Mr. Velimir Senkov – ESM
Mr Stefan Pandilov- ESM
Mr. Zvezdomir Todorov - ESM
Mr. Urs K. Wagner-ETI – Consultant/ Swiss Coordinator
Mr. Ueli Schneider - ETI
Mr. Francis de Haas - ETI

Further information on the project:

  • POPs Unit, Marin Kocov, Project Manager | | Tel 02 3066 929
  • SECO, Bern, Herr Daniel Wild, Projektleiter | | Tel. 031 324 08 30
  • ETI Umwelttechnik AG, Chur, Herr Urs K. Wagner, Geschaftsfuhrer | | Tel. 081 253 54 54

Further information on PCBs and POPs are available under: