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The embattled Albanian subsidiary of the Czech power giant CEZ has threatened to turn off the electricity supply to water companies citing their unpaid debts.
|Drinking water | Photo by : Wikimedia|
“On November 16 we will cut off electricity to the water supply companies that owe CEZ a total of €38 million,” CEZ Shperndarje said on Wednesday.
“We advise the public to fill up any water reservoirs at their disposal or check up with their utilities if they have any alternative means of supplying them with water,” it added.
CEZ bought Albania’s largest utility company in 2009 for €102 million, promising fresh investments and a drive to cut losses and stem theft in the grid.
CEZ Shperndarje is a member of CEZ Group, a multinational corporation that is among the ten largest energy companies in Europe, both in terms of installed capacity and number of customers.
The move to cut the power to local water supply companies comes as Albania’s government and CEZ Shperndarje are increasingly at odds over electricity tariffs and tax fines.
The Czech company has threatened to withdraw from the Albanian market, citing a substandard business environment.
To keep its reform policy credible for investors, the government must find common ground with the IMF and look for a new arrangement, experts say.