Four companies shortlisted for Kosovo energy deal

PRISTINA, Serbia-Kosovo has shortlisted four foreign companies to revamp the province’s energy sector, officials said Friday.

The four firms will bid to build a new power plant, upgrade an old one and open a new coal mine in what is being billed as the largest investment in the province since it came under U.N. administration in 1999.

The shortlisted foreign companies are Czech and U.S. consortium CEZ/AES, Germany’s RWE Power AG, a partnership between German EnBW and US-based WGI, as well as a consortium of Italy’s Enel and the Greek-American Sencap, said a statement from the Ministry of Energy and Mining.

Officials said earlier that the project to build the power plant, with a capacity of 1800 to 2100 megawatts of electricity, should be completed by 2012. It will cost about €3 billion (US$ 3.9 billion).

Kosovo, a province of 2 million people, has suffered frequent power shortages over the past seven years, making it dependent on expensive imports, an anomaly for a territory with billions of tons of coal reserves.

The province has two thermal power plants just outside the capital Pristina, but they are old and dilapidated and prone to breakdowns.

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