Three Albanian hydroelectric power plants (HPPs) are to benefit from a cash injection of 12 million euros from the World Bank, intended to ensure their continued safe operation. Part of the Dam Safety Project for Albania, the money will support the safeguarding of the three dams on the Drin and Mat river cascades, and improve their operational efficiency and enhance the stability of the power supply in the regional market.
The Drin Cascade represents an important asset for Albania. The three power plants in the Drin River cascade: Fierza, Komani and Vau i Dejes with total installed capacity 1350 MW, currently generate about 70 per cent of Albania’s total energy supply which, at recent regional market prices, represents an annual value of about 200 million US dollars. In addition, they play an important role in the connectivity with the regional energy market.
Safe and reliable operation of the HPPs on the Drin Cascade is not only a safety concern, but also a potential revenue management source for the Albanian government in the future. The project aims at improving the safety of dams and their performance and availability, extending their lifetime, and increasing their compliance with environmental safeguards best practices.
The existing project has achieved significant results, so far. All dams on both the Drin and Mat river are equipped with various instruments and monitoring systems; a risk assessment and Emergency Preparedness Plan was completed and adopted by the Albanian Power Corporation (KESH) and responsible institutions; and the Dams spillway capacity assessment has been completed.
The additional financing will provide financial support for the completion of rehabilitation of the spillways gates and stoplogs in two dams of the Drin River Cascade (Fierza and Komani HPPs), and rehabilitation of electromechanical equipment of the Komani HPP.