Serbia kept control over Kosovo’s energy infrastructure even after the declaration of Kosovo’s independence. The KOSTT (Operator of the Kosovo Electric Energy Transmission and Market System) was part of the SMM control block (Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia), coordinated by the Serbian operator of the Power Network of Serbia (EMS).
The KOSTT was not recognized by ENTSO-E (European Network of Transmission System Operators in electric energy), so it was not able to work autonomously or collect revenues from tariffs for power transmission across Kosovo, in accordance with the international and European regulations on energy and cooperation of states in the field of energy transmission.
In the four North Kosovo municipalities (North Mitrovica, Zvečan, Zubin Potok and Leposavić), the electric energy supply is provided by the EPS Elektrokosmet, Serbian state-owned company. Although this company has been registering electric energy consumption in households since 1999, consumption charges are not billed to the consumers.
Kosovo has emphasized that its annual losses due to this are 11 million euros.
Under the energy agreement, the EMS got committed to assist KOSTT in becoming a separate control area and member of ENTSO-E, and this obligation was confirmed by the Conclusions on the Implementation of the Energy Agreement signed by the representatives of Serbia and Kosovo in August 2015.
On the other hand, Kosovo got committed to enable the establishment of two Serbian energy companies in Kosovo – “EPS trgovina“, to deal with electric energy trade and “Elektrosever“, to provide supply and distribution services (such as billing and collection, maintenance and physical connection of new consumers).
On 10 December 2015, KOSTT and 29 members of ENTSO-E signed an agreement on interconnection envisaging that KOSTT become an independent regulatory area, separate from EMS. Kosovo was previously required to issue a license to Elektrosever, for operations in the North municipalities.
The company’s registration has become a stumbling block in implementation of this agreement. The company has filed an application for registration to Kosovo’s business register agency (ARBK), but the application was rejected because by the company’s statute it was not clarified whether the company would operate in Kosovo .
For Kosovo, this agreement has not been implemented due to Serbia’s refusal to register the company in accordance with Kosovo’s regulations. Serbia conditioned the KOSTT membership in ENTSO-E with the establishment and functioning of the ElektroSever company.
KOSTT spun off from the SMM regulatory area that consisted of Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia, managed by the Serbian Power Network (EMS), signing an agreement with the Operator of Transmission System (OST) from Albania on creating a new regulatory block Kosovo-Albania. The agreement on this block was signed on 2 December 2019.
In April 2020, the Regional Group for Continental Europe (one of five synchronized ENTSO-E zones) voted for the new agreement on KOSTT’s connection to ENTSO-E.
Two months later, on 30 June 2020, KOSTT signed an agreement with ENTSO-E, whereby Kosovo got its independence in electric energy and sovereignty over its power network.
At the meeting held on 1 December 2020, the RGCE (Regional Group for Continental Europe) agreed that the operations of KOSTT as a regulatory area within the Albania-Kosovo regulatory block, i.e. the implementation of the agreement on KOSTT’s connection to ENTSO-E should commence on 14 December 2020.