December 2, 2019 / 6:55 PM / 3 months ago

Kosovo signs deal on joining Albania's power grid

PRISTINA, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Kosovo will join Albania’s power grid from next April under a deal signed on Monday, ending decades of dependence on Serbia’s grid.

There was no immediate reaction from Serbian grid operator EMS after the deal was signed in Tirana by Kosovo’s grid operator, KOSTT, and the Albanian operator, OST.

“This is an historic agreement for Kosovo and KOSTT because until now we have been part of Serbia’s grid EMS,” Ilir Shala, Chief Executive Officer of KOSTT, said in a statement.

Kosovo seceded from Serbia in 2008. Belgrade has not recognised Kosovo but has committed to normalising relations with Pristina as it seeks European Union 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 when it was part of Serbia.

European power grid lobby ENTSO-E has urged Serbia and Kosovo to resolve a dispute which caused some digital clocks on the continent to lose time because in 2018 Kosovo had been using more electricity than it generates.

Serbia is responsible for balancing Kosovo’s grid, but failed to do so, ENTSO-E said.

The loss of energy meant that electric clocks that are steered by the frequency of the power system, rather than by a quartz crystal, to lag nearly six minutes behind, ENTSO-E said.

Editing by Timothy Heritage

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