Albanian Power Sector on Crossroads 23Jan

Published by Deyan Matov in Blog | Tagged , , ,

Duke Energy Power Lines 5

There is an important question for Albania – what will happen with its power sector? After three months of scandals and recriminations the Albanian energy regulator ERE took the final decision to revoke the licence of CEZ Shperndarje and initiated the appointment of new managers in the company without complying with its majority owner – Czech energy group CEZ. According to the Albanian side, CEZ loses all shareholder rights, while the company insisted that the government’s steps infringed the national legislation. This delicate situation is cause for concern if there will be another big investor to come in place of CEZ and what will be the future of the power sector in Albania.

The conflict between the two sides set off in 2012, when the Albanian state-owned power producer KESH raised the buy-off prices for CEZ Shperndarje while not allowing the company to offset the higher costs by its prices for end consumers. The grid operator also faced difficulty collecting its receivables. The situation in Albania sharpened in November 2012 when CEZ Shperndarje decided to cut power supply to all Albanian state-owned water utility companies that owe it a total of EUR 38 mln. The Albanian energy regulator ERE then launched proceedings to withdraw CEZ’s licence. The local authorities accused CEZ for not fulfilling its investment obligations as well as for not providing the energy needed by the Albanian customers.

In December 2012 CEZ put its Albanian unit for sale. However, the Albanian government blocked the transaction and delayed final decision on the matter for January 2013. The company said it has requested from Albania a EUR 60 mln compensation for damage caused to its Albanian unit , which is covered by a World Bank guarantee.

According to Moody’s agency, the withdrawal of CEZ from Albania would mean a loss of almost EUR 200 mln for the Czech company.

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