ČEZ faces police probe over Albania deal
Ill-fated contract one of a series under investigation
Posted: February 20, 2013
ČEZ's investment in Albania is among a series of deals by the Czech utility that anti-corruption police are investigating. According to reports, police have requested information about the Albania purchase along with three other major deals.
ČEZ's disposal of half of mining company Mibrag of Germany to Energetický a průmyslový holding, for which it received the energy company Energotrans in return, is also under investigation, as is the issuing of contracts to Hochtief CZ to store spent fuel at the Temelín nuclear power plant.
The fourth issue police are looking into concerns Škoda Praha Invest, a ČEZ subsidiary. The newspaper Mladá fronta Dnes reported police are investigating whether ČEZ broke laws on public procurement by doing deals through the subsidiary.
It is believed no charges have been brought, and the police probe is thought to date back almost a year.
"We've been continuously giving them all the necessary information they required. We are not aware of any fault," ČEZ spokeswoman Barbora Půlpánová told media.
The 102 million euro deal in which ČEZ bought a 76 percent share in Albania's electricity distribution company, later renamed ČEZ Shpërndarje, dates to 2009. Last year, the Albanian operation faced heavy financial losses as ČEZ struggled to limit losses from the Albanian grid, and in December the company was put up for sale.
In January, the Albanian authorities stripped the company of its license to operate, although ČEZ is looking at taking legal action over the events.
Daniel Bardsley can be reached at