Two weeks ago, an Albanian investigative journalist declared in a TV show that an Albanian citizen named Kujtim Ismajlaj has benefited EUR 5 ml by CEZ Company by creating fictive new companies as DIA company and signing contracts with CEZ Company for the collection of energy bills. On May 2013, referring to the Energy Charter Treaty, CEZ announced an international arbitration dispute with Albania. The disagreement between the Albanian government and CEZ started back in 2013 after the citizens’ claims for a mismanagement of CEZ Shperndarje and accuses that the company had failed to secure electricity imports and to invest in the distribution network. After inspections at the company, the Albanian government revoked CEZ’s distribution license.
After the scandal was made public by the journalist Artan Hoxha, the General Prosecution of Albania has started to investigate on the case and the corruptive relations between K. Ismajlaj and the directors of CEZ Company when the company operated in Albania. In relation to this scandal, the Director of the Energy Secretariat, Janez Kopac, presented on Monday, September 28th the report of the Secretariat on this issue at the Albanian parliamentary Commission of Producing Activities. Kopac declared that the Secretariat of the Energy Community has supported the reached agreement between Albania and CEZ company since it promised a win-win solution for the dispute.
“If we hadn’t reached this agreement, Albania and CEZ would go to the arbitrage court and this would be a big disadvantage for Albania since the arbitrage process may last at least 10 years, and such move would have hampered the reforms and investments in the country,” declared Kopac.
According to him, the reached agreement ensured the vote of the Czech Republic for Albania in receiving the EU candidate status. “This was a very complicated issue. We held 10 rounds of discussions and I am not content that this issue is being opened again,” declared Kopac. As for DIA company, Kopac said the Secretariat concerns only about issues related to the energy and that this is not an issue to be investigated by the Secretariat of Energy Community.
Kopac also gave recommendations for the improvement of the energy sector in Albania by saying that the energy sector must be more efficient in order to reduce the import of energy and that this sector has known positive developments in the past years. Albania has a huge potential for the development of renewable energy, according to Kopac.
News source/photo credits: ATA