Text of report by Salie Gajtani: "Russians want 'Kosova B'", published by Kosovo Albanian newspaper Koha Ditore on 19 April
Prishtina [Pristina], 18 April: The Kosova [Kosovo] Ministry of Energy and Mines has refuted Podgorica media allegations that Russian company RUSAL, which will soon become the main shareholder of the Podgorica Aluminium Complex (KAP), is about to reach an agreement with Kosovar authorities on leasing for several years the "Kosova B" thermal power plant.
Energy and Mines Minister Ethem Ceku told Koha Ditore that it is not true that the Russian company is close to signing an agreement on Kosova's power plants. He said had had been informed by AKM [Kosovo Trust Agency] about a visit by a Russian company to Kosova, and that its representatives met with AKM and KEK [Kosovo Electricity Corporation] officials, but he explained that during those meetings they had only mentioned the possibility of investing in "Kosova A", and nothing was discussed about the conditions or modalities of possible investments.
"I have information that nothing was promised to the Russian company," Minister Ceku said. According to him, the company is interested in buying the Ferronikeli [mine and factory in central Kosovo] operation and power plant in the same way that four other companies are, because, he explained, electricity supplies entail 30 per cent of Ferronikeli's costs.
But according to the Podgorica daily Republika , the Russians are on the verge of signing an agreement with Kosovar authorities. Moreover, the daily said that the Russians are willing to build two new plants at "Kosova B" and in this way they would resolve KAP's power supply problem after 2009, when they will not have the right to use electricity in Montenegro at the standard price.
The newspaper explained that good long-distance power lines existed between the power plants in Kosova and Montenegro since the time of the former SFRY [Social Federal Republic of Yugoslavia]; through these lines the company in Montenegro would get a cheap supply of power. Vojin Djukanovic, member of the KAP Board of Directors, was quoted as saying that he had specific information about the plans of the new buyers of the company. He believes that the Russians "will most likely ask for concessions in the 'Kosova B' power plant for several consecutive years." He noted that the electricity from power plants in Kosova is expensive for the KAP, but the situation would change with the construction of a new plant.
Source: Koha Ditore, Pristina, in Albanian 19 Apr 05 p 1