Albanian government reached an amicable solution with Czech energy giant, CEZ, the Ministry of Economy and Energy announced today. Damian Gjiknuri, Minister of Economy and Energy said in a press conference that his government will repurchase the Albanian electricity distribution company for 87.1 million Euros paid in four installments plus 7.9 million Euros in interests for a total of 95 million.
“The parties announced today that has started a negotiated solution [of the dispute]. The agreement was reached as result of negotiations facilitated by Mr. Dirk Buschle, deputy director of Energy Community Secretariat in Viena,” the Ministry said.
“On behalf of the Energy Community Secretariat and in my personal capacity as mediator of the negotiations between Albania and ČEZ, I highly welcome the Settlement Agreement between both parties signed yesterday. I am deeply convinced that entering into and concluding these negotiations are in the best interest of Albania and its electricity consumers, said Deuty Director of Energy Community Secretariat Dirk Buschle in a press release.
In 2008, CEZ purchased 76 per cent of Albanian Electricity Distributor, CEZ Shperndarje. The Albanian company faced looses and CEZ didn’t convince the authorities to increase prices for customers to cover looses. Early in 2013, Albanian Regulatory Authority suspended the operating license of CEZ and took the Albanian branch under its management.
Prague had threatened Albania that will block Albanian bid to EU integration if the dispute was not resolved. A decision from the European Council on Albania’s status as Candidate for Membership country will be taken within few days.
The Settlement Agreement signed yesterday in Vienna ends the 18-month long dispute between the Republic of Albania and the Czech energy utility ČEZ following the Albanian regulator’s decision of 21 January 2013 to revoke the license of CEZ Shpërndarje. Following the initiation of arbitration proceedings by ČEZ in 2013, Deputy Director Dirk Buschle of the Secretariat was appointed by both parties as facilitator of the negotiations, which have taken place at the Secretariat’s premises as of January 2014.