Energy Community mediates dispute between state, HPP Energji Ashta
The Energy Community Secretariat’s Dispute Resolution and Negotiation Centre has organized the first meetings with the parties and all other entities involved in the dispute related to balancing issues in the Albanian hydro sector, the Energy Community Secretariat has said in a press release.
The parties involved are the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy of Albania and the Energji Ashta hydropower plant (HPP), owned by power companies Verbund and EVN.
The dispute arose between KESH, the largest electricity producer in Albania, and HPP Energji Ashta, and it involves other Albanian state-owned stakeholders: ERE, the energy regulator in Albania, the Albanian distribution system operator OSHEE, and the Albanian transmission system operator OST, the Secretariat said.
A dispute between the private and the state company was brought to the Secretariat’s attention earlier last year.
Dirk Buschle, Head of the Legal Unit and Deputy Director of the Secretariat, has been appointed as mediator, and he is supported by Rozeta Karova and Arben Kllokoqi.
The Energy Community Secretariat’s Dispute Resolution and Negotiation Centre was established in 2016 as a response to signals that the settlement alternatives currently available for energy disputes no longer respond to the needs of national authorities and stakeholders.
Joint venture by Verbund and EVN
HPP Energji Ashta, operated by a joint-venture by Austrian power companies Verbund and EVN, was commissioned under an investment worth EUR 200 million. It started electricity production in June 2012 while the concession contract was signed for a period of 35 years. At the end of the 35-year concession, the HPP will be handed over to the Republic of Albania.
This run-of-river HPP is located in the north of Albania on the Drin river with an installed capacity of 53 MW and annual production of 242 GWh. The generated electricity is delivered to state-owned power utility KESH. The PPA agreement was signed on 15 years.
Verbund and EVN are majority owned by the Austrian state. Verbund is the largest electricity producer in this country, while EVN is the second-largest power company.
A week ago Romania’s power producer Hidroelectrica announced plans to sign cooperation agreement with Verbund.