Kosovo’s power transmission system operator KOSTT said it has signed an agreement with its Albanian peer OST to set up a common energy market with the two neighbouring countries.
The agreement is expected to enter into force in April 2020, after KOSTT signs a new agreement with the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), it said in a press release on Monday.
“This is a historic agreement for Kosovo and KOSTT because until now we have been part of Serbian grid operator EMS,” the chief executive officer of KOSTT, Ilir Shala, said.
The agreement was signed with the knowledge of ENTSO-E and is a prerequisite for the independent operation of Kosovo.
The governments of Albania and Kosovo see the common energy market as a very important step towards increasing electricity transmission between the two countries. They also expect the common market to improve power supplies to consumers in Albania and Kosovo and add value to the energy infrastructure in the region of Southeast Europe.
The first step toward establishing a common market was finalized in June 2016 with the inauguration of 400 Kilovolts interconnection power line worth 75.5 million euro between Albania and Kosovo financed by the German government.
Almost all of Albania’s electricity is produced by hydro power plants, while over 98 per cent of Kosovo’s electricity output is generated by coal-fired power stations.
Despite progress, both countries suffer power shortages due to insufficient output, the age of their grids and electricity theft.
Kosovo, considered to be a potential candidate for EU membership by the European Commission, unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and has so far has been recognised by more than half of the 193 UN member states.