Kosovo introduces power cuts due to energy crisis

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PRISTINA, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Kosovo's energy distribution company KEDS said on Wednesday it would introduce power outages across the country as a result of low domestic production and high energy import prices.

In a statement, the KEDS said that two hour-long power outages hours would affect everyone within the next 24 hours and would last until further notice.

"As we are facing world's worst electricity crisis, the Transmission System and Market Operator - KOSTT, based on applicable laws, has instructed us to start with electricity restrictions," KEDS said in a statement.

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Kosovo is reliant on power production from its obsolete coal-fired plants. To cope with outages, many businesses and households across the country brought out portable power generators.

Kosovo's government has allocated 20 million euros to import electricity, which according to the Prime Minister Albin Kurti is up to seven times higher than during the same period last year when the price of a MW/h stood at around 60 euros.

The country of 1.8 million is now importing around 40 percent of its electricity needs. Energy consumption has increased in sub-zero winter temperatures when most consumers are using it for heating.

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Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; Editing by Aleksandar Vasovic and David Evans

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