Electricity

Kosovo* may buy stake in gas-fired power plant project in Albania

Photo: Ministry of Economy

Published

June 21, 2022

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Published:

June 21, 2022

Country:

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Kosovo* and Albania agreed to cooperate on the project for an LNG terminal in Vlora, with the possibility for Kosovo* to invest in the planned gas-fired power plant there.

Kosovo* and Albania held a joint government session in Prishtina and signed two memorandums on cooperation in the energy field. State-owned power utilities Kosovo Energy Corp. (KEK) and KESH agreed to exchange electricity, secure storage and diversify energy sources.

Kosovo* declared the cooperation with Albania a priority in its draft energy strategy

Minister of Infrastructure and Energy of Albania Belinda Balluku (pictured left with her Prime Minister Edi Rama) said the two companies have been successfully cooperating since last winter and that the aim is to overcome the energy crisis as easily as possible. She signed the deals with Kosovo’s Minister of Economy Artane Rizvanolli (right, with Prime Minister Albin Kurti), who noted the relations with the neighboring country have been declared a top priority in the draft energy strategy until 2031.

Complementary electric power systems

The two electric power systems are complementary. Kosovo A and B, two outdated coal power plants, produce almost all the domestic electricity, while Albania only has hydropower plants, so it can provide backup capacity.

Kosovo* is suffering from huge power import costs as the two units keep breaking down and demand keeps rising. On the other hand, Albania is forced to buy electricity abroad at times of drought. Of note, Kosovo* is planning to add a 250 MW pumped storage hydropower facility for storage.

No need to build gas infrastructure

The other memorandum is for cooperation in the development of a project for a terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Vlora in Albania.

Rizvanolli suggested Kosovo* may buy a share in a planned power plant that would use the fuel or secure a long-term electricity supply contract. The construction of gas pipeline infrastructure and a power plant in Kosovo* would take eight or nine years while this way it may get electricity within two years, in her view. The government suspended a gas pipeline project last year.

Kosovo* has 53 renewable power plant projects in the pipeline with a combined capacity of 670 MW

United States–based Excelerate and ExxonMobile agreed a year ago with Albania to build the LNG terminal.

According to the latest data from the Energy Regulatory Office, Kosovo* has 53 renewable power plant projects waiting for approvals. The combined capacity is 670 MW, Kosovo.Energy reported. Plans for seven hydropower plants including the pumped storage unit account for 283.5 MW.

There are 36 solar power projects with 102.3 MW overall, compared to nine wind power plants in the pipeline – 279 MW. Finally, one biomass power plant with 5.2 MW is in the pipeline. In its draft energy strategy, Kosovo* set a 1.4 GW target for renewables for 2031.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
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