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AEEC Autumn Conference 2017
On Monday, 13 November 2017, at The Plaza Hotel in Tirana, it was held the annual Autumn Conference of AEEC. The conference was hosted by our member firm Optima Legal & Financial and moderated by AEEC Chairman Prof. Christian Held and Mr. Ilir Daci, Partner at Optima Legal & Financial.
The focus of the conference was the future of the energy world of Albania and Western Balkans region. Among the issues discussed in the high-level round tables were the further exploitation of the energy potential of Albania, diversification of power generation sources, Western Balkans energy security, improvement of the institutional, legal and regulatory framework in the areas of oil & gas industry, renewables, energy efficiency, natural gas transport and more.
Energy Community addressed the conference. In his keynote speech, Prof. Buschle, the vice Director of the Energy Community Secretariat urged the Albanian Government to accelerate the development of the necessary legal framework and start quickly with the implementation of the action plans concerning energy efficiency and renewables. According to Mr. Buschle, the energy efficiency auditing must start with the public sector, as it will lead by example for the private sector.
Albanian vice Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Mr. Etjen Xhafaj said that Albania should also look at conventional power generation at the onset of a domestic gas market following development of Trans Adriatic Pipeline.
Prof. Friedbert Pflüger, Director of European Center for Energy and Resources Security (EUCERS) at King’s College London stated that energy security is of crucial importance and called Western Balkans countries to have a balanced approach towards the opportunities of efficient coal-fired generation.
The reforming of Albanian oil & gas industry legal and regulatory framework was among the major discussions in the conference. The discussion led by Mr. Dael Dervishi, Partner at Optima Legal & Financial involved the major players in the oil & gas industry in Albania, with Shell and Bankers Petroleum sharing their views on revisiting of the model PSA in the context of increasing transparency on the exploitation of the Albanian oil and gas reserves.
Albanian vice Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Mr. Enis Aliko expressed the government commitment to review the PSA model framework in the best interests of both Albanian State and companies operating in this industry.
Among the highlights of the conference were the discussions about the development of the Albanian gas market following the development of Trans Adriatic Pipeline, bringing gas from Caspian region to Europe through Turkey, Greece and Albania, a major cross-border infrastructure project that would enhance the energy security of Europe but at the same time will bring new cooperation between Western Balkans countries at the hopes of developing a gas ring supply throughout the region. Parties involved in this discussion included TAP, Gasunie, Albgaz and Roland Berger.
Among other participants and speakers in the conference were representatives of National Agency of Energy Efficiency, National Agency of Natural Resources, World Bank, EBRD, Duff & Phelps, Enso GmbH, Kosovo Transmission Operator KOSTT, Uniglobe Capital Trust, Colliers International, ICC Albania, Raiffeisen Bank, Expo Energy, CEEGEX Ltd, The Partners, Boga & Associates, CR Partners, Albchrome, Euro-Electra, AEEC member firms, to name but a few.
The conference was a testimony for the dynamic development of the energy sector in Albania, which results in new investment opportunities.