Albania to pick boss for CEZ unit ahead of licence ruling

TIRANA Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:19pm EST

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TIRANA Jan 18 (Reuters) - Albania's power board will appoint a new manager for the loss-making unit of the Czech CEZ power utility on Monday, and will on the same day rule whether or not to revoke its licence.

The power board is scheduled to make the ruling on the network and retail distribution licences for CEZ Shperndarje after it failed to cut losses and import power.

The manager will oversee the company while the government solves its dispute with CEZ over debts, imports and ownership.

The board interviewed five candidates.

"We listened to the candidates today, we decide on Monday," ERE chairman Sokol Ramadani told an open panel meeting.

Sahit Dollapi, a mining engineer who managed the distribution company before it was bought by CEZ for 102 million euros in 2009, is tipped as the most likely candidate.

The CEZ group put its loss-making Albanian distribution unit up for sale a month ago and is seeking to resolve a dispute with the Balkan country over power imports and prices.

In November, CEZ trimmed its 2012 profit outlook because of the losses at the Albanian unit and said an exit from the Balkan state was the most likely solution to its problems. (Reporting By Benet Koleka; editing by Keiron Henderson)

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