Oil Report

Kosovo's power firm hooks up with European grid

TIRANA, April 21 (Reuters) - Kosovo’s power grid and transmission operator KOSTT will join the grid of operators in continental Europe, ending its dependence on former ruler Serbia and joining the electricity zone with Albania, KOSTT and Albania said.

With 22 votes in favour, four abstentions and three against by Spain, Bosnia Herzegovina and Slovakia, Kosovo and KOSTT have joined the ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, KOSTT said in a statement.

“With today’s vote and the subsequent signing, KOSTT and the Republic of Kosovo will finally leave the SMM Control Block (Serbia, Montenegro and Northern Macedonia) and join the Kosovo-Albania (AK Control Block),” KOSTT said of Monday’s vote.

“This is a great historical day for KOSTT and for all of Kosovo. With today’s developments, also in the terms of electricity, KOSTT and the Republic of Kosovo are independent from Serbia,” KOSTT’s CEO Ilir M. Shala added.

The deal will become effective on May 14, Albania’s Energy Ministry said.

Kosovo seceded from Serbia in 2008, but has not been recognised by Belgrade. However, both have committed to normalising relations as they seek EU membership.

Serbia and Kosovo signed an agreement on operating their mutual power grid in 2015, but it has not been enacted. The two sides have conflicting claims about ownership of the grid in Kosovo, built under the former Yugoslavia when Kosovo was part of Serbia. (Reporting by Benet Koleka, Editing by Mark Potter)