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Southeast Europe: Weekly rundown May 13-17

Southeast Europe: Weekly rundown May 13-17 Photo: All Rights Reserved

SOFIA (Bulgaria), May 17 (SeeNews) - Albania decided to establish a power exchange, bankruptcy proceedings opened against Croatian shipbuilding group Uljanik, while Hyundai Motor and Croatia's Rimac Automobili signed a deal to collaborate on the development of high-performance electric vehicles. Following is a selection of our top stpries this week. 



Albania’s government has decided to establish a national power exchange in accordance with European directives as a step forward in advancing the reform of the energy sector, energy minister Belinda Balluku said on Thursday.

The Albanian power exchange will operate a day-ahead and intraday trading platforms, Balluku said in a press release.

The decision was made possible thanks to the help of the International Finance Cooperation (IFC) and the European Energy Community Secretariat, Balluku noted, adding that the establishment of the power exchange will be an incentive for the liberalisation and deregulation of the electricity market.

Balluku also said that the power exchange aims at trading electricity in the regional market and welcomes the participation as shareholders of transmission system operators of countries with which Albania has a memorandum of understanding and sustainable trade activity in this sector.

“This approach is reflected in the criteria set for the selection of potential shareholders,” Balluku said, adding that the operator of the energy exchange will be established by Albania's state-owned power transmission system operator OST and will function as a joint stock company.

The opening of the power exchange to all market operators will guarantee fast and flexible market operation in order to increase the security of Albanian electricity supply and financial transparency as well as deliver on commitments towards the Energy Community.

Albania produces over 90% of its electricity at hydro power plants, most of it at three plants along the Drin River, in the northern part of the country.



A Croatian court has decided to launch bankruptcy proceedings against Uljanik Group [ZSE:ULJN], the shipbuilding group said on Friday, several days after the court opened such proceedings against its key member Uljanik Shipyard.

The group announced the decision of the commercial court in Pazin in a statement submitted to the Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE). Following the announcement, ZSE suspended trading in Uljanik's shares.

Earlier this week, the Pazin court launched bankruptcy proceedings against the troubled Uljanik Shipyard. The group comprises another one of Croatia's largest shipyards - 3 Maj, along with smaller subsidiaries.

In March, Croatia's financial agency FINA sought Uljanik Shipyard's bankruptcy over an outstanding debt of 28.2 million kuna ($4.2 million/3.8 million euro).

Last month, the commercial court in Rijeka rescheduled for June 5 the hearing at which it was to decide whether to open bankruptcy proceedings against the 3 Maj shipyard.

The Uljanik Group has been in financial trouble for some time due to the adverse effects of the global financial crisis on the shipbuilding sector with the government declining to endorse a proposed restructuring of the two shipyards, considering the risk for the country's economy as too big.

In March, prime minister Andrej Plenkovic said the government had spent 31.7 billion kuna between 1992 and 2017 for the recovery of Croatian shipyards, with 4.3 billion kuna of the total going to Uljanik and 9 billion kuna to 3 Maj, or an overall 13.3 billion kuna for what is today Uljanik Group.

Following the announcеment of the launch of bankruptcy proceedings against the Uljanik shipyard, Plenkovic said that representatives of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) are expected to shortly visit again Croatia's troubled shipyards, adding that the bankruptcy does not mean an end for the company.

In late April, a delegation of the Chinese shipbuilding company arrived in Croatia for talks about a potential investment in Uljanik Group. Earlier that month, the Croatian government said that representatives of CSIC would visit the Uljanik and 3 Maj shipyards between April 25 and May 10.



Hyundai Motor has signed a 80 million euro ($90 million) strategic partnership deal with Croatia's Rimac Automobili, planning to collaborate on the development of two high-performance electric vehicles (EVs) by 2020, Rimac said on Tuesday.

The technology partnership deal envisages a 64 million euro investment by Hyundai Motor and a 16 million euro investment by its subsidiary Kia Motors Corporation, Rimac said in a statement after the signing of the contract.

With the deal, Hyundai Motor Group aims to speed up its transition towards clean mobility, becoming a leading driver towards this change in the industry, the statement reads.

In particular, the collaboration of the three companies will result in developing an electric version of Hyundai Motor’s N brand midship sports car and a high-performance fuel cell electric vehicle. 

"Its startup roots and abundant experience collaborating with automakers combined with technological prowess makes Rimac the ideal partner for us," Hyundai Motor Group's executive vice president, Euisun Chung, was quoted as saying in the statement. "We look forward to collaborating with Rimac on our road to Clean Mobility." 

Rimac specialises in high-performance electric vehicle technology and manufactures electric sportscars.

"We see a strong investor and technology partner in Hyundai Motor Group and believe that this collaboration will charge the company’s position as a Tier-1 electrification components supplier to the industry," Rimac founder and CEO, Mate Rimac, said.