7th Annual Balkan Energy Finance Forum (BEFF 2014)

The 7th Annual Balkan Energy Finance Forum was another successful event hosted at the prestigious Sheraton Tirana Hotel in Tirana, Albania. Attracting over 100 local and international representatives, the event provided unique opportunities for industry key players to tackle main issues facing the regional energy security, investigating solutions through stronger regional operation.

Sponsors and Partners heavily supported the prominent event; sponsors include: the Green for Growth Fund, Southeast Europe, Tirana Business Park and Boga & Associates.

Day 1 of the highly anticipated conference endorsed the financial challenges and development opportunities for the current Gas & Oil and Electricity sectors in Albania and the neighbouring countries.

 

After a short introductory note by our respected Chairman Mr Günther Fehlinger (FSC Albania, Austria), the Deputy Minister Dorian Ducka (Minstry Of Energy and Industry, Albania) provided a welcoming speech which is followed by an interactive dialogue between Mr Ducka, Mr Fehlinger and the audience. The event continued with Mr Gerd-Uwe Weller's (EIB, Luxembourg) presentation on energy financing tools available for the Western Balkans.

 

Mr Sokol Elmazaj (Boga & Associates, Albania) opened the session on the gas sector by outlining local legal constraints on gas project developments in Albania. Ms Enida Bezhani (TAP, Albania) gave an overview of the project’s developments, explaining the importance of the project for a more secured gas market in Southeast Europe. The topic is further evolved in the panel discussion led by Mr Sokol Elmazaj and other panellist: Mr Stavri Dhima (Ministry of Energy and Industry, Albania) and Mr Shkelqim Bozgo (TAP, Albania).


After a networking lunch break, the forum continued with a session on Electricity Grid, Pricing and Trading. Mr Lorenc Gordani (ACERC, Albania) stressed main obstacles with regard to electricity markets liberalization in the Balkans followed by Mr Agnar Aas's presentation (Devoll Hydropower (Statkraft), Albania) on current projects, regional transmission lines and opportunities for further power exchange. The final panel of distinguished individuals chaired by Ms Irina Peltegova (ICIS, UK) included: Mr Sokol Spahiu (Albanian Association of Electricity Suppliers, Albania), Mr Agnar Aas and Mr Dejan Vasic (EPS Supply, Serbia) who further discussed challenges and opportunities for regional power exchange towards a single energy market.


After closing remarks from the conference Chairman, Mr Fehlinger, delegates retired to the networking cocktail reception hosted by the Green for Growth Fund for the opportunity to relax over a glass of wine.

After Mr Fehlinger's welcoming speech on Day 2, the opening presentation was delivered by Mr Gjergji Simaku (Ministry of Energy and Industry, Albania) on the main challenges in implementing energy efficiency measures in Albania. Mr Borko Raicevic (Energy Community, Austria) indicated Energy Community's perspective on Energy Efficiency and its' implementation in the region.

After a short networking break, Mr Neil Budd (SGH Martineau LLP, UK) showcased opportunities for financing options and bankability of solar projects from the private investor's perspective. The forum proceeded with What makes banks go "green" panel discussion sponsored by the Green for Growth Fund, Southeast Europe and led by Mr Sebastian von Wolff ( Finance in Motion, The Green for Growth Fund, Southeast Europe). Other panellists included: Mr Ian Smith (EBRD, UK), Dr Norbert Raschke (ERM, Germany),  Ms Endrita Xhaferaj (Albanian Association of Banks, Albania), Ms Klaida Eminaj (Banka Kombetare Tregtare (BKT), Albania) and Ms Sonja Tasevska (Halkbank AD, Macedonia).


After a networking lunch break, attendees returned to the conference room for the feature session on Renewable Energy Projects Development. Ms Anita Shushku (Ylliad sh.pk, Albania), Mr Arnaud Henin (Gommyr Power Networks, UK) and Mr Roman Matkiwsky (Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, Greece) each provided feature presentations on risks and opportunities for renewable energy investors and the importance of the legal predictability in renewable energy investments in Southeast Europe. Day 2 drew to a close with second panel discussion hosted by The Green for Growth Fund, Southeast Europe, led by Mr Dominic Hereth ( Finance in Motion, Green for Growth Fund, Southeast Europe) with representatives from: EBRD (Turkey), Mr Remon Zakaria, Kalo & Associates (Albania), Mr Perparim Kalo, Energy expert, Mr Besim Islami, Privredna Banka Zagreb (Croatia) and Enso Hydro GmbH (Austria), Mr Wolfgang Kröpfl who discussed opportunities and limitations of RES developments.

 

The conference closed with Mr Dominic Hereth's closing remark referring to a successful and useful meeting.

 

EEL Events thanks all who sponsored, partnered, and attended our successful 7th Balkan Energy Finance Forum 2014 and look forward to welcoming you back next year. 

 

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