Our race is against time and bureaucracy, ASG power CEO says

Friday, March 2, 2007

Tirana, 2 March 07 (AENews) – "Bureaucracy and lose of time", were the main topics during a press conference held by ASG power today in Tirana. The company presented its plans to build a thermal power plant, a gas pipeline from Albania to Italy and other energy related facilities. The project is estimated to cost USD 2.3bn. This is the biggest investment in the whole of the Balkan region since the collapse of communism, according to the company.

"We hope to conclude all legal procedures and begin works by June", Agim Gjinali, CEO of ASG power, said.

The company complained about bureaucratic delays from which it had suffered last year.
The project includes:

  1. A gas pipeline of 120 km from Albanian coast to Brindizi, Italy, to transport 8 BCM, (billion cubic meters).
  2. A re-gasification plant with an installed capacity of 10 BCM.
  3. A gas fired thermo power plant with installed capacity of 1200 MW.
  4. Electricity interconnection line with capacity of 500 KVA.

The company intends to import LNG, (liquefied natural gas) from Qatar, Oman, Algeria and other countries, than distribute it via pipelines to customers. The projected annual electricity production is expected to be kW/h 9.5 billion. This would be enough to push Albania out of its permanent crisis as well as provide for the electricity deficit in the Balkans, created mainly by the closure of the Bulgarian nuclear plant Kozloduy.

AENews asked CEO of ASG Power Mr. Agim Gjinali about what could happen if Bulgaria would build a new nuclear plant or if Kosova would build a coal thermo power plant with capacity of 3000 MW. In response, Mr. Gjinali explained that the difference would be in the time it would take to implement such a project.

"We can begin production within two years while other projects (large ones) in the Balkans would need eight years", said he. Mr. Gjinali noted that this investment could succumb to competition after 10 years; however, considering the rapid growth in electricity consumption in the Balkans, there are scarce possibilities for this to happen.

However, it is obvious that the ASG investment could face major challenges in terms of price competition, if the Balkans begin production of electricity from more convenient fuel sources like nuclear or coal. Meanwhile, the Bulgarian government has advanced in plans to build two new nuclear reactors with installed capacity of 2000 MW. On the other side, Kosova intends to use its large coal resources as fuel for a big thermal plant it intends to build.

Government of Albania approved Thursday the land development plan for ASG project, however other procedures, including a parliament approval are needed before works could begin.

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