Albania’s Power Corporation (KESH) and engineering and construction company Bechtel signed an agreement to begin the early works for the 210 megawatts (MW) Skavica plant on the Drin river under a fast-track delivery approach. It is a critically important hydropower plant that will play a significant role in Albania reaching its ambition of energy self-sufficiency.
Works 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.
“Bechtel is delighted to be selected as a partner in the delivery of the Skavica Dam,” said Andrew Patterson, Bechtel’s Infrastructure Global M&BD and Major Project Development Manager. “We recognise that this is a nationally important project and we look forward to working with KESH as a partner and engaging local companies, supply chains and local people to achieve the immediate and long-term economic benefits which come with an infrastructure of this size and scale.”
“Skavica will be located upstream of the Drin cascade, which is home to four hydropower plants,” he adds. “The combination of these existing projects currently produces the largest energy production in the Balkans, with a combined power output of 1,350 megawatts (MW). Skavica will increase the cascade’s output and bring significant additional safety and environmental benefits. As a regulating dam, it will give greater protection against the devastating floods which impact the downstream communities annually.”
For Belinda Balluku, Albania Government’s Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Skavica is different from the other hydropower plants in the Drin Cascade because it will regulate the plants which already exist.
“It will also increase the domestic production of electricity by hydropower plants in Albania by 20 per cent, while also optimising and increasing their production capacities,” she said. “Another important element of this project is the minimisation of floods in the area of Nen Shkodra by optimising the cascade and controlling all flow and discharges during rainfall from autumn to spring.”
A much-anticipated dream, as Ergys Verdho, KESH CEO General has put it.
“This project will transform Albania not only into an absolute leader in the regional electrical power sector but also into an electrical power exporter,” he said. “The development of Skavica will reduce Albania’s annual electricity imports by an average of 55 per cent annually, increasing the security of the country’s electricity supply.”