Albania gets no bids for four hydro plants
TIRANA, Sept 14 |
TIRANA, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Albania received no bids for four small but profitable hydro power plants on Friday because the potential buyers were not clear about how they would produce and sell the power.
Declaring the tender failed, Deputy Energy Minister Sokol Dervishaj said several firms wanted the plants, two on the northern Mat River and two on the southern Bistrica River.
The Energy Ministry postponed the tender four months ago to give investors more time, saying some were interested both pairs of plants, which were sold in separate but almost simultaneous tenders.
Austria's Verbund AG and EVN, France's CNR, Limak Energy and the steelmaker Kurum from Turkey, Austria's Andritz Hydro, Italy's Tozzi Sud Spa and an Albanian consortium had expressed an interest in buying the hydro plants.
"They are asking us to improve the process concerning the relationship the buyers will have with (state-owned producer) KESH and the way the electricity will be produced, transmitted and sold by these hydro plants," Dervishaj told reporters.
Cash-strapped KESH produces almost all of the power in Albania, the state-run OST transmits it and CEZ Shperndarje, a unit of the Czech CEZ distributes it. All three are locked in a cycle of debt to each other.
The energy ministry added that investors wanted more time to seek funding for the plants from the main European banks.
"The Energy Ministry declares it shall examine these requests seriously and will soon take a decision about re-opening the tender," the ministry statement said. (Reporting By Benet Koleka, Editing by Rosalind Russell)
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