ECONOMY

Turkish steelmaker wins 30-year lease for Albanian plant

TIRANA (Reuters) – Albania granted Turkey’s Kurum steelmaker a 30-year lease on an oxygen plant and paved the way for a concession on a power plant, the government said yesterday. Kurum, which produces steel from scrap iron with electric furnaces at Elbasan, wants the power plant because prolonged power cuts force it to halt in winter. One of Albania’s biggest electricity consumers, Kurum plans to invest $36 million in the power plant to supply its own needs and sell power to other businesses. Kurum plans to produce up to 55 megawatts with three diesel machines using only 10 percent of the actual structure. The government granted Kurum a 30-year concession to build and operate an oxygen plant at the communist-era Elbasan steel complex, where Kurum is the only active player nowadays. It has to invest $2.3 million to produce oxygen and industrial gases over the next two-and-a-half years.