June 9, 2008 / 11:59 AM / 11 years ago

Albania shortlists 4 firms for DSO power unit sale

TIRANA, June 9 (Reuters) - Albania selected on Monday Italy’s Enel (ENEI.MI), Czech utility CEZ (CEZsp.PR>, Austria’s EVN (EVNV.VI) and Energy Steirmark to take part in a tender for a controlling stake in its power distributor DSO.

“The Economy, Trade and Energy Minister will send an official invitation to these companies to present their offers,” Energy Ministry spokeswoman Iva Tiko told reporters.

Albania invited companies last month to buy between 51 percent and 76 percent of DSO, the distributing arm of the cash-strapped state-owned power utility KESH.

It will invite the companies to take part in a tender in September in what will be the largest and most complex privatisation in Albania. It is also aimed at reducing chronic power shortages.

The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) helped Albania split KESH’s DSO distribution business from its other activities. The company comes with a 140 million euro ($218.4 million) debt taken to revamp its operations.

Reporting by Benet Koleka, editing by Sue Thomas

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