TIRANA Jan 11 Turkey's Kurum, Albania's only
steelmaker, plans to increase output by 20 percent after the
purchase of four hydro power plants to secure a stable supply of
electricity, its general manager said on Friday.
Kurum has been producing steel using electric arc furnaces
to melt scrap iron in part of what had been a mammoth
communist-era steel mill in the central Albanian town of
The company produced 500 tonnes of steel in 2012 and sees
output rising to 600 tonnes this year, Zeki Kaya, Kurum's
Albania manager, said in an interview.
"Green energy coupled with steel production is a good
industrial integration to create a competitive regional steel
industry," he said.
Faced with chronic power shortages in the past decade,
Kurum, one of Albania's biggest consumers of electricity, has
sought an independent power supply since 2004, Kaya said.
The four power plants, described as small but profitable and
newly renovated, produce a total of 400 million kWh hours a
year. Kurum plans to increase their capacity by 20 percent.
"That will strengthen our competitive power and definitely
encourage us to increase production capacity in Elbasan. Our
group needs more energy, because we are also in mining now. We
need it for ferrochromium," Kaya said.
Kurum's purchase of the plants appears to be the only
successful privatisation last year for Albania. It bid a total
of 109.5 million euros ($146.1 million), from which the
government will subtract the amount it owes the company in VAT
The Turkish company also offered to buy state oil company
Albpetrol but was disqualified because its two big boxes
containing the bid arrived six minutes late.
Vetro Energy, an Albanian-U.S. firm that made the top bid
for Albpetrol, has missed its second official deadline to make a
deposit as a guarantee so that the 850 million euro sale can go
($1 = 0.7493 euros)
(Reporting By Benet Koleka; editing by Jane Baird)