Albania on the Brink of Energy Crisis

Albania may be soon faced with an electric energy crisis. Disagreement within Prime Minister Edi Rama’s caretaker cabinet and the absence of rainfall is rapidly leading to regular power outages.

The water level in the Fierza reservoir, the largest in Albania, is very close to its critical low point. The Electric Energy Distribution Operator (OShEE), which according to the McAllister+ agreement is run by an opposition-appointed director, has failed to by any backup energy during June.

Moreover, the Council of Ministers, including 4 opposition-appointed caretaker ministers, have failed to approve a Decision (VKM) that would provide the Albanian Electric Energy Corporation (KESh) with a World Bank credit of €22.4 million to buy energy.

Deputy Prime Minister Ledia Mandia explained yesterday the reason that the 4 ministers nominated by the PD didn’t approve the VKM, claiming that the 4 votes of PD ministers couldn’t block the VKM from passing.

The Council of Ministers approves its decisions with a simply majority. As a result, the failure to approve the decision by a part or even all the technical ministers (7 of 19 in total) does not constitute an obstacle to approve this decision by the other part of the ministers which constitute the majority.

Deputy Prime Minister Mandia stated further that

The procedures for the approval of the VKM were opaque, a detailed analysis was lacking, as well as the obligatory preliminary opinion of the Minister of Justice and of Finance.

She blames the director of the OShEE, which during May failed to open a tender for energy acquisition, forcing the KESh in June to use its already minimal water reserves.