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IFC Supports Albania to Establish Electricity Wholesale Market, Bolster Power Sector

Tirana, Albania, November 25, 2020—With support from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, Albania has established ALPEX as its power exchange and electricity market operator. This marks a further step towards the country's integration as part of a pan-European energy market and contributes to improving the nation's investment climate and attracting foreign investments in the power sector.

In partnership with the Ministry of Finance of Norway, IFC has provided the Albanian government with technical and regulatory advice since 2016, leading to the establishment of ALPEX, a power exchange, which will act as Albania's electricity market operator. It will create an organized electricity market in alignment with Albania's obligations as a member of the Energy Community Treaty, which brings together the European Union and its neighbors in an integrated pan-European energy market. It will also contribute to further reducing the country`s import bill for electricity.

ALPEX was established on October 23, 2020 to provide a transparent and reliable platform where sellers and buyers can sell and buy power in a secure way about the clearing and settlement of all their transactions. By matching in a centralized auction the hourly bids and offers to sell and buy energy, ALPEX will reveal a transparent hourly price which can be also projected forward and used to attract new and cheaper investments in the energy sector.

"Establishing a market operator is a major step in the liberalization of the Albanian power market," said Belinda Balluku, Albanian Minister of Infrastructure and Energy. "It is a great success for all the stakeholders and will contribute to regional integration."

ALPEX will also help Albania optimize its hydro reservoirs. It is jointly owned by OST and KOSTT, the respective Transmission System Operators of Albania and Kosovo and will act as the market operator for both Albania and Kosovo.

"The signing of the shareholder agreement and the creation of ALPEX are both important milestones. A transparent and competitive electricity marketplace will attract new investments in the sector, thereby contributing to a much-needed integrated regional market in the Western Balkans," said Ary Naïm, IFC Regional Manager for Central and Southeast Europe. "IFC stays committed to supporting Albania in bolstering the nation's energy market, and we are pleased to see the positive steps taken recently." 

About IFC

IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2020, we invested $22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

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