The coup de grace for ČEZ in Albania: losing its license in January

According to Albanian sources, the local Energy Regulatory Office (ERE) would have decided today to withdraw the operating license of the electricity distributor CEZ Shpërndarje, in which the partly-state-controlled Czech company ČEZ holds a 76% majority.

The company itself admitted that it was unable to meet the conditions set out by ERE for keeping its license. These mainly include taking care of the necessary electricity import, providing the regulatory agency with audited 2011 figures, stabilising its financial situation, and providing reliable electricity supply – i.e., without massive blackouts in zones with high percentage of debtors. CEZ Shpërndarje argues that its financial situation has become untenable as a result of frequent fines and other government harassment, such as having its bank accounts sequestered by Albanian governmental or judicial authorities.

ČEZ recently announced its intention to sell its Albanian distribution affiliate; now, however, things rather seem to take a momentum towards expropriation of its share by the Albanian government, which holds a minority interest in CEZ Shpërndarje.

Translated by Lingvus

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