EU & WBs / Albania Energy Investment Updates

EU & WBs / Albania Energy Investment Updates

Presentation of Albanian Centre for Energy Regulation and Conservation - ACERC

ACERC is a think tank centre with focus on the Albania energy market and its integration in the regional IEM. The Acerc mission base on the in-depth knowledge of EU and regional energy law and policy and strives to provide a qualified contribution to the promotion of the liberalization and effective integration as well as efficient use of energy resources.

Acerc
main activities briefly consists in build-up collaborations and supports to market players in study researches such as the certificate reports, articles and periodicals. The transfer of high expertise through building-up institutional capacities by national and regional training courses, seminars and conferences. The institutional representation and integration within framework of the forum of Albanian School of Regulation.

For more visit us at the Official Website of Acerc | Albanian Energy Market - AEM Group in LinkedIn

Albania to launch tender for oil, gas explorations in June Last Updated: 2015-05-19 04:58 | Xinhua

AEI Updates May 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Fri, May 22, 2015 21:35:21

Albania to launch tender for oil, gas explorations in June

Last Updated: 2015-05-19 04:58 | Xinhua

Albania launched on Monday the initiation of the procedures for the hydrocarbon agreements on exploration of seven onshore and offshore oil and gas blocks, according to Albanian minister of energy and industry Damian Gjiknuri on Monday.

The tender procedures for exploration of the first seven oil and gas blocks will be held on June 15.

The Albanian National Agency of Natural Resources (AKBN), which designated the seven onshore and offshore oil and gas blocks, would publish on its website the map of free blocks for exploration in Albania, as well as the application form including the deadline for submission of applications for explorations in the blocks until June 15, according to the minister's order.

The seven new areas for oil and gas exploration and production will be subject to competition in an open process, with the winners due to be selected through pre-defined criteria, according to Albanian telegraphic agency.

The gas and oil exploration operations are expected to attract foreign capital to help the country's economic development, noted the minister.



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Government cancels contracts for 30 hydro plants POSTED BY: BGEN 24/04/2015

AEI Updates May 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Sat, May 16, 2015 23:04:58
Government cancels contracts for 30 hydro plants

POSTED BY: BGEN 24/04/2015

Licenses for the construction and use of 30 power plants throughout Albania were cancelled by the country’s government for their „failure to meet obligations,“ after members of the European Parliament called on it to reconsider the plans. Prime minister Edi Rama’s cabinet earlier cancelled several power plants which were approved in the last meetings of Sali Berisha’s government, Independent Balkan News Agency said in a report.

In a draft resolution on Albania’s progress towards the EU on April 15, the European Parliament has called on the country’s government to reconsider plans for the construction of hydropower plants in the country’s protected areas, including the current building of a plant on the Lengarica river in the south, citing environmental concerns, Balkan Insight news site reported. The Tirana prosecutor’s office had earlier launched an investigation.

The European Parliament urged the Albanian authorities to develop comprehensive management plans for existing national parks with respect to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) World Commission of Protected Areas’ quality and management guidelines for protected area category II, says an amendment to the draft resolution from MEP Tamás Meszerics from The Greens–European Free Alliance.

“It urges the authorities to abandon any development plans devaluating the country’s protected area network and calls for the abandonment of small and large-scale hydropower construction plans inside all national parks in particular; demands to especially re-think the plans to build hydropower plants along the Vjosa river and its tributaries, since these projects would harm one of Europe’s last extensive, intact and near natural river ecosystems,” the amendment adds.

Meszerics’ colleague from the Greens group, Igor Šoltes, who presented the amendment during the European Parliament foreign affairs commission’s hearing on Albania’s resolution, underlined that the Lengarica project was the only one of the 43 projected hydro projects on Vjosa under construction.

The hydro plant poses a serious environmental risk to the Lengarica canyon, Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) claimed in November. The plant is being financed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the commercial arm of the World Bank, and is being built by Enso Hydro of Austria through a local subsidiary – Lengarica & Energy.



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Innovative financing of renewable energy, Briefing note 2, May 2015

AEI Updates May 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Wed, May 13, 2015 09:39:19
Innovative financing of renewable energy, Briefing note 2, May 2015


Knowledge need Financing technologies and measures for climate change mitigation constitute one of the main issues in the transition to a decarbonised economy. There is a debate about innovative financing mechanisms that can substitute conventional ones that are based on government support. Minimising the need for such support, through adopting more market-based mechanisms, could be beneficial for countries whose public finances are under pressure. Therefore, stakeholders need information with regard to new ways of mobilising financial flows, specifically from private sources. In the European Union, innovative financing mechanisms are needed in order to achieve largescale deployment of renewable energy, to reach the targets for 2020 and 2030, and to work towards a decarbonised economy by 2050.
For more click here.

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SAIPEM – SOUTH STREAM RIPARTE DAL MAR NERO

AEI Updates May 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Mon, May 11, 2015 20:55:39
[FLASH]La società ha reso noto venerdì sera di aver ripreso le operazioni per la costruzione del gasdotto South-Stream, dopo aver ricevuto la notifica dal cliente South-Stream Transport Bv della revoca della sospensione dei lavori. Ricordiamo che la commessa, sospesa da dicembre 2014 risulta di cruciale importanza per il raggiungimento dei target alti della guidance fissati dal manangement cioè ricavi compresi tra 12 e 13 miliardi, Ebit compreso tra 500 e 700 milioni, utile netto tra 200 e 300 milioni e indebitamento finanziario netto al di sotto dei 4 miliardi.

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EAST MED PIPELINE: THE “GAME-CHANGER” EUROPE CHOOSES TO IGNORE May 08th, 2015

AEI Updates May 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Mon, May 11, 2015 10:58:58
EAST MED PIPELINE: THE “GAME-CHANGER” EUROPE CHOOSES TO IGNORE

May 08th, 2015



East Med pipeline proposal presented by the Greek Public Gas Company (DEPA) for the connection of Cyprus with the Greek mainland via the island of Crete has recently been included in the PCI list (“Projects of Common Interest”) by the EU authorities. Its estimated annual flowrate would be equal to 8 billion cubic meters in return of a construction cost of approximately 5 billion USD. This should eventually establish a physical interconnection between the European mainland and the gas reserves at the Eastern Mediterranean basin (Israel 1400 bcm, Cyprus 1250 bcm, Lebanon 750 according to estimates from the Israeli Ministry of Energy).

Although some may argue that the prospective flows through this pipeline will not have a noticeable impact on the overall EU energy supply picture (409 bcm in 2014), the potential of East Med pipeline to become a real “game-changer” for Southeastern Europe should be unquestionable. Its projected annual flowrate could match the Russian gas volumes currently exported to the four largest Balkan markets combined; Romania, Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia. In other words, for the first time Gazprom would obtain a real contestant in the region and consecutively supply alternatives and market competition could almost double. Besides the significant economic benefits of expanding the number of market players, using Cypriot (i.e. domestic to the EU) and other Eastern Mediterranean natural gas to expand the supply options of European markets is a direct implementation of the European Energy Security Strategy, the importance of which has only increased in the face of recent sharp changes in Russian foreign policy behavior.

At the same time, such a substantial enrichment of supply options within a geographical area which has been historically “short of gas” in trading terms would increase the utilization of existing border connections and boost the commercial viability of prospective interconnections currently under consideration. The diffusion of incremental quantities not only within the Balkans but also further on towards the European mainland would stimulate investment interest in pipeline projects such as IGB (Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria), IBR (Interconnector Bulgaria-Romania) and Transitgas reverse flow (Italy-Switzerland-Germany), projects which have recently gone through market test exercises but without strong signs of backing by private investors. Moreover, projects such as IAP (Ionian Adriatic Pipeline) or ITGI (Italy-Greece Interconnector) in synergy with the incremental “Third-Party-Accessed” capacity of TAP (Greece-Albania-Italy) would incorporate Southeastern Mediterranean and the rest of Europe under a common physical – and inevitably commercial – network. Just imagine the value of such an integrated gas market with a geographical footprint on three continents as well as the sustainable growth benefits for the Balkan economies sitting at the epicenter of a major energy crossroad.

In addition to stoking infrastructure investment and regional market integration, support for East Med will signal the European Union’s strong commitment to the program of transformative political integration and European regional leadership envisaged under the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). The success of long-term cooperative relations (especially of those that hope to have a transformational effect on some of the participating partners) hinges on the credibility of everyone’s full commitment to the achievement of the objectives and a realistic plan of implementation. In this context, Israel is an ENP nation, a key Western strategic ally in a volatile region and a developing energy producer, attributes that make it an ideal case to demonstrate the EU’s willingness to support all Neighborhood nations willing to orient themselves towards Western values and a deeper economic integration to the Single Market.

The logical sequence of the aforementioned multi-level beneficial impact of East Med can be succinctly described as follows: more gas available in the system leads to more competition; more competition leads to more participants in the market; more participants trade more and inevitably secure their market footprint through longer-term investments; more investments and more trading activity lead to lower consumer prices, economic growth, jobs, European market integration, geopolitical security and an increase in the regional impact of the European Union.

However, the feasibility of this vision for Europe is strictly subject to the uninterruptible flow of the produced gas under a transparent and open regulatory environment. Choosing to funnel those volumes through a national system which is not obliged to comply with the EU Third Package and a country that is not committed to the vision of establishing a common cross-border energy market seriously threatens the advantages of the Eastern Mediterranean exploitation for Europe. This is why the “energy-thirsty” Turkey is not the ideal destination for Cypriot and Israeli gas, as already suggested by some as the “least-cost solution”. It is simply not a coincidence that despite the strong presence of independent gas traders in the domestic market and the existence of healthy cross-regional price spreads, there has never been any spot gas exports out of Turkey. Conversely, Greece is a compliant member of the EU as well as a country whose market fundamentals and indigenous demand don’t allow for the “blocking” of the large volumes that East Med is expected to bring ashore. Furthermore, Greece already features bi-directional network connections with Turkey and Bulgaria together with an LNG terminal, hence justifying its potential role as a regional gas hub.

The other discussed alternative for the commercial utilization of Eastern Mediterranean findings has been the LNG export route. Under this scenario, again there is no certainty that these gas quantities will enter the European market. This will only be possible if the Balkan States – who are already paying way more than the average EU gas price – also bridge the necessary price difference in order to incentivize LNG cargos to divert away from other premium markets and instead head to the European shore. In other words, the already “distressed buyers” of gas in the Balkans need to compete against other countries such as China, Japan and India within a global “tight” LNG market.

Overall, it becomes evident for Europe that there is substantial inherent value in committing the gas molecules to flow through EU soil via East Med. As already explained, the associated benefits are of multiple nature and hence it is hard to assign an aggregate financial value to them. But even if that had been possible, still the potential private investors that the EU is seeking to attract in order to back the East Med project would not be in a position to monetize most of it. Therefore, European leaders need to overcome this obstacle by establishing generous and cashable incentives, in order to boost the economics of the East Med pipeline and hence inaugurate a new era for the EU energy future.

Alex Lagakos and Evripidis Tsakiridis

Alex Lagakos is Energy Markets Analyst and Chairman of the Greek Energy Forum. Evripidis Tsakiridis is Defense Analyst. The opinions expressed in this article are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of all the members of the Forum or the companies that employ them.



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The government has turned the eyes in the right direction Published on : 06 May 2015

AEI Updates May 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Sun, May 10, 2015 10:38:26

The government has turned the eyes in the right direction

Published on : 06 May 2015



The new plant of construction materials in Dekoll is one of the most modern plants in the Balkans. It built in just one year and two months with an investment of 6 million Euros on an area that 14 months ago was covered by briers and garbage.

Thanks to the latest Italian technology of production, which applies to every process including packaging, a closed cycled has been enabled where everything is done automatically.

The plant covers a total area of 12.000 square meters. Over 200 workers have been employed to date, and another 100 new jobs are expected after this new investment.

The owner of the plant, Geront Çela, told the Prime Minister that the incentives provided by fiscal policies of the government, such as VAT abolition on machineries, have allowed him to save considerably on his investment.

“Customs facilitated us on machineries, because we did not pay the VAT. The VAT abolition on machineries was a huge help to us and in addition it facilitated procedures. This was an investment of 6 million Euros and the plant was built in one year and two months. The abolition of VAT by law has allowed us to save 40 million ALL”, he said.

He also informed that the products are intended for domestic and foreign market, and his ambition is to increase plant capacity in the future with a new line of painting production. "The products are for the domestic market and for export. These products are produced in the plant, and there are over 25 items that we produce here. The full range includes 80 products."

The Prime Minister enquired about vocational education of workers, which is provided within the company. Geront Çela explained the difficulty to find in the market mid-range technicians, engineers and other professionals that the plant needs. This is one of the reasons, the entrepreneur explained, why he has employed in his plant Italian engineers, because our market doesn’t provide any.

The Prime Minister said that the government's intention is to promote employment, and stressed that the qualification of employees is very important. "This is the biggest problem that we have inherited in terms of labor, because vocational education was destroyed for years and now we need some years to get back on track and to meet every need of the job market for technicians and crafts people. As a consequence, companies cannot grow because they lack human resources, and in many cases they look for them abroad.”

Mr. Çela told the Prime Minister that another relief has been also the automatic refund of VAT, thanks to which his business has saved $ 30,000.

***

Prime Minister Edi Rama was in the city of Durres and inspected works on the square called "I love Durres". He was accompanied by Mayor Vangjush Dako. The square extends to the seashore where a recreational area in the shape of sphinx has been built where citizens can enjoy the sunset, fish or sunbathe. This public space was financed by the municipality of Durrës.




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Albanian Map of Oil Field Areas in Privatization, Lorenc Gordani 09 May 2015

AEI Updates May 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Sat, May 09, 2015 23:38:46

Albanian Map of Oil Field Areas in Privatization

Prepared Lorenc Gordani 09 May 2015

The Ministry of Energy and Industry following decision of the Council of Ministers No. 335, has developed the legal framework for the extraction of 13 oil blocks for exploitation by the private sector.



From the areas that will be used for detection operations, there will be a block in the sea as well. Albania is estimated to have oil reserves amounting to 400 million tons, while only 10% and, the new discoveries in the district of Berati have attracted high interest for investments in our country from international companies.



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A standup investment in livestock farming also thanks to government support Published on : 05 May 2015

AEI Updates May 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Sat, May 09, 2015 22:47:21

A standup investment in livestock farming also thanks to government support

Published on : 05 May 2015




A modern facility, twice the capacity, contemporary production technology, increased labor force and a closed production cycle are the advantages of which the owner of a livestock farm in Balldren of Lezhë talks about with enthusiasm following on from the investments and the supporting schemes. This farm, which is another evidence of the new agricultural policies adopted by the government, was visited today by Prime Minister Edi Rama.

Thanks to the support of the Agency of Agricultural and Rural Development, the farmer has the ambition to double the livestock number in a short time. He thanked for the support received not only from the AARD but also from the fiscal policies of the government. "We have received from the AARD 50% funding to which we added another 50% to build the shed and the grain barn. Thanks to the new law on customs, the government support was extremely helpful especially for the new machineries and technology equipment, because we paid zero VAT. We intend to add another 200 cows. We have currently 300 of them and we will make them 500", the farmer said, In addition, he explained that this support has given the opportunity to increase the number of employees to 150 people.

According to the Prime Minister this is the result of the new approach to support the countryside, focused on the promotion of investments for strengthening productive infrastructure, which creates also an employment chain. “This is the change we brought along with a totally new perspective of the support to the countryside. Instead of giving pittance and have no results, we are strengthening growers and manufacturers, in order to give cultivation and production centers the opportunity to create an employment chain. Thus, closed cycles will increase employment by hundreds of thousands of jobs across the territory".

The Prime Minister explained also the advantages of the administrative reform for the promotion of agricultural development.

"With the administrative reform and the new City Hall, which is now no longer merely the administrator of the city area and which has been surrounded by many municipalities that had nothing to do with you and your work, we will move to a stage where the City Hall will have more responsibilities, whether for irrigation, or drainage, but also for prioritizing the most important investments in cooperation with private individuals of the region. We will build several regions of shared management, so that major problems concerning water, transport, waste, but also development promotion in agriculture, are treated in such a way that the government knows where to make the first, the second and then the third intervention, asking for your advice and receiving added value. Actually, the combination of irrigation and drainage with the transformation of boards, which are a direct responsibility of the City Hall – the law has been prepared by the government and will be taken to parliament – will allow it to manage the uncultivated land along with private individuals, and make it fit for cultivation. But it can be cultivable again only through the production cycle, and not by those who have it but have no possibility to develop it. Instead, those who are owner of the uncultivated land will enter the production cycle”.

The Prime Minister talked to the farmer who runs this farm that the multiplication of these investments will make the agricultural sector revive.

The Prime Minister was accompanied in this visit by the minister Mimi Kodheli, MPs of the region of Lezha, Monika Kryemadhi and Gjovalin Kadeli, and by the Mayor Viktor Tusha.



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