Albania, Kosovo complete power integration project

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 28, 2016 15:23

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  • "Through this interconnection line, we create the conditions for not only being integrated with each other and having a common energy policy by making use of complementary diversified resources, but also be more powerful and integrated in the European energy market," says Prime Minister Rama

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Kosovo

Albania and Kosovo prime ministers inaugurate the 400 kV interconnection line

TIRANA, June 28 – Albania and Kosovo have completed a 400 kV interconnection line that will help the two neighboring countries increase energy security by diversifying electricity resources and set up a joint energy market.

The new interconnection line and the power exchange will help Kosovo’s lignite-fired power plants and Albania’s hydro-dependent electricity system exchange electricity during their peak production levels, reducing dependency on costly imports.

“The establishment of this Albanian power exchange will give us the opportunity to jointly operate our power resources and grids. Kosovo has the biggest lignite resources in the region while Albania has the biggest hydroelectricity reserves,” Rama said at an inauguration ceremony on Tuesday also attended by his Kosovo counterpart Isa Mustafa.

The power exchange will enable transparent prices of the day-ahead market encouraging participation in power trade by both countries, according to a recent memorandum signed by the two countries ahead of the third joint government meeting in Kosovo in early June.

Prime Minister Rama described the German-funded interconnection line as a new chapter in Albania-Kosovo cooperation.

“Through this interconnection line, we create the conditions for not only being integrated with each other and having a common energy policy by making use of complementary diversified resources, but also be more powerful and integrated in the European energy market,” said Rama.

Kosovo Prime Minister hailed the completion of the energy project as equally important to the so-called Highway of Nation linking the two countries.

“Energy is a very important pillar for our sustainable economic development. This interconnection line provides stability to businesses and is an important hub for the economic development of our two countries,” said Mustafa.

A U.S. company is planning to build a 660 MW coal-fired plant in Kosovo in a major Euro 1.4 billion investment, with a major impact on Kosovo’s energy security and power exchanges with Albania.

The KfW-funded project, initially delayed because of tender disputes on the Albanian section, cost Albania Euro 29 million. The 400 kV line is 241 km long, of which 90 km in the Albanian section.

Albania and Kosovo have also applied to receive EU funding to conduct a feasibility study on connecting Kosovo to the already under construction Trans Adriatic Pipeline bringing Caspian gas to Europe through Albania.

The KfW-funded project linking Albania to Kosovo is completing Albania’s connection to its neighbors after the completion of the 400 kV Tirana- Podgorica interconnection line, linking Albania to Montenegro.

Albania is also planning to build an interconnection line with neighboring Macedonia to integrate into regional and European energy markets.

The Albanian-state run electricity sector is currently wholly hydro-dependent but is expected to benefit from the under-construction Trans Adriatic Pipeline which will hopefully make operational a newly built thermal power plant in Vlora due to its lower costs on gas operation.

Kosovo has emerged as Albania’s second largest trading partner for exports after the construction of the Highway of Nation in 2009 cutting travel time between the two countries. Ethnic Albanian Kosovars also account for almost half of total foreign tourists to Albania, in what is known as ‘patriotic tourism.’

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 28, 2016 15:23