Albania: Building of HPP Skavica

, SEE Energy News

In order to launch the construction of 210 MW hydropower plant Skavica on the Drin river, Albanian Power Corporation (KESH) and US construction company Bechtel have signed an agreement last week. It is a critically important hydropower plant that will play a significant role in Albania decreasing its dependence on electricity imports. Works on the project will begin immediately with a technical investigation, preliminary construction roads and the environmental and social impact assessment which will meet international best practices to expedite the start of construction.

According to Minister of Infrastructure and Energy Belinda Balluku, HPP Skavica will increase Albania’s hydro-based electricity generation by some 20 %, while also optimizing and increasing the country’s production capacities. CEO of KESH Ergys Verdho noted that the construction of HPP Skavica will reduce Albania’s annual electricity imports by an average of 55 % annually, increasing the security of the country’s electricity supply.

Projected annual electricity generation of HPP Skavica is 915 GWh, but it would also increase the electricity production potential of downstream HPPs – Fierza and Koman by a total of 80 GWh per year.

In 2019, KESH launched a feasibility study for the construction of HPP Skavica. The company said in a statement that 21-month feasibility study for HPP Skavica will be conducted with the support of a group of consultants from Infrastructure Project Facility – Technical Assistance 6 (IPF 6) and financed by the Western Balkan Investment Frakmework (WBIF). This phase of the project is supported by the WBIF with a grant worth 1.5 million euros awarded to KESH at WBIF meeting held in 2017. KESH said that HPP Skavica is an ambitious and significant project for reforming and further developing the Albanian electricity sector. In 2015, the Government failed to award concession for the construction and operation of the HPP despite the interest of two Turkish companies.