Albania to cancel grid license amid power cuts

Thursday - 1/10/2013, 5:34am EST

TIRANA, Albania (AP) - Albanian authorities say the license held by a Czech company to operate the country's electricity grid will be canceled by the end of the month after a dispute between the company and the government led to extensive mid-winter rolling blackouts.

State energy regulator spokeswoman Entela Cipa said Thursday that procedures have begun against CEZ Shperndarje, which owns a 76-percent stake in the distribution operator. It was unclear when a new tender would be announced.

CEZ complains of unpaid bills, while the government _ which is expected to take over the management _ claims CEZ has failed to carry out agreed investments. Daily blackouts have occurred across the country, including parts of the capital, Tirana.

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