Albania: In anticipation of energy market liberalization

, SEE Energy News

Owing to expected opening of the energy market in Albania and increase of investments in the private sector, the number of licensed companies for the production and trade of electricity has been substantially increased.

According to the Energy Regulatory Authority ERE, 40 requests regarding various activities in the sector of electricity and gas have been received during the past year.

ERE has approved licenses for 32 applications, while eight applications are under consideration and a decision on the issuance of licenses will be reached by the end of the year.

ERE states that each application has been considered in accordance with the defined deadline, and that the ERE decision is published in print media, in order to inform all interested parties with the decision. In addition, for each application a legal, administrative, financial and technical compliance is determined, as well as whether the applicant owns relevant licenses.

Last year, ERE has licensed 11 new electricity traders. Some of these companies operate in the generation sector, but in order to increase profit, they have decided to sell produced electricity.

ERE has also approved licenses for 11 subjects in the sector of electricity production. The company Dragobia Energy has been given electricity production and trading license, and this company is building a hydropower plant on the Valbona river, and it found itself in the center of public attention because of investment in one of the most popular tourist areas in Albania.

Entry into energy market has been approved for another seven companies in the supply sector, and two licenses in the sector of gas trade and supply have been issued.

In accordance with the law, in 2018 all business users have to enter the market. The law requires that medium voltage consumers find suppliers during this year. The goal is to liberalize 40% of the market next year in this way. However, until now this process has not been carried out in accordance with the statutory deadlines, and it is not expected that liberalization will be launched this year.