EBRD finances power transmission in Albania

By Sergiy Grytsenko

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The EBRD is helping to modernise the distribution of electricity in Albania with a loan that will refurbish the distribution network and improve the quality of electricity supply.

A €50 million loan to CEZ Shpërndarje, a private power distribution and retail company, will modernise and expand its low and medium voltage electricity distribution network.

The 12-year senior corporate loan is co-financed by the International Finance Corporation, providing a €50 million loan in parallel. The investments will result in a more efficient use of existing energy resources and increase the quality of electricity supply across Albania’s national grid.

Once fully completed by 2014, the planned modernisation works will improve the reliability of electricity supply by reducing losses in the distribution network. As part of the planned improvements, CEZ Shpërndarje will also install new modern meters and implement a new billing system to raise its revenue collection rates.

In addition, CEZ Shpërndarje will use this loan to refinance its debts and optimise the company’s cash-flow and balance sheet.

“The Bank is very pleased to support this modernisation project which will help Albanian customers have a reliable and high-quality electricity supplies. The investments made under this project by CEZ Shpërndarje will bring energy efficiency improvements in the country’s power system in line with the highest international standards,” said Nandita Parshad, EBRD Director for Power and Energy.

CEZ Shpërndarje, a subsidiary of ČEZ Group since 2009, owns and operates the entire 110kV distribution network in the country for a total length of 69,000 kilometres, serving around 1.1 million customers. ČEZ Group, a major Czech-based utility company, serves 9 million customers across 12 countries in Central and Southeast Europe, with significant involvement in the Albanian power sector.

Since the beginning of its operations in Albania, the EBRD has invested over €570 million in various sectors of the country’s economy, mobilising additional investments of more than €1.3 billion.

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