Kosovo: Power supply problem to be solved

Prishtinë, 19 Jul, 2006 – The energy supply in Kosovo over the past few days was poor. Dailies in Kosovo report that the Kosovo Energy Corporate (KEK) is paying back the energy that it owes to Albania, Serbia and Montenegro.

But, KEK officials denied this information. “It is not true that KEK is selling energy; it is paying back the energy it owes to Albania,” said KEK Spokesperson, Donika Kadaj-Bujupi.

“The return of debts is a process that should happen and the most suitable period for this is during the summer, when it is known that consumption decreases, so the return of debts was not at all the reason of power restrictions.”

Kadaj-Bujupi said that now there is sufficient electricity, which can be serviced by licensed electricians, as Unit A1 is back on the network. “13-14 hours were needed for the system to stabilize and I have information from all centres that the A category is regularly being supplied with electricity,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Kosovar Minister of Energy and Mining, Ethem Ceku says that the difficult energy situation is a result of mismanagement by ESBI. “If KEK was in our hands we would not lack energy in the middle of summer,” said Ceku. “If we were not there, the Kosovo A TPP Units would never be rehabilitated.”

KEK has also signed a contract for electricity imported in the “crisis” months. Companies EFT, EGL, ESPADA, shall realize the import while in emergency cases NEC, a Bulgarian company, shall supply KEK. “The ABC plan is not a perfect one, though currently it might be the only option,” said Kadaj-Bujupi.

Donors leave, investors confused
Another Kosovar daily “Lajm” reports in the meantime that due to the low cash collection, USAID and the EAR are hesitating to support KEK financially.

“It is unlikely that they will give taxpayer’s money to a place where the cash collection is very low,” says Pranvera Dobruna, KEK Deputy Managing Director. Dobruna says that there were some improvements in terms of cash collection but not to a level in which the ABC plan could be phased out. “I must say that also this year we will have to disconnect customers that fail to pay their bills,” she said.