Albania advances Austrian utility’s plan for Devoll River plants

The Albanian government has found a plan by Austria’s EVN to develop three hydro plants on Albania’s Devoll River to be in the public interest.

The finding gives the Austrian utility an advantage in upcoming bidding for Devoll River water usage rights. EVN received 10 evaluation points, from a possible 100, in advance of an open international tender for the development of hydropower on the Devoll.

EVN proposes developing three peaking hydropower projects with reservoir storage, totaling 400 MW and generating more than 1,000 GWh annually. The government said EVN’s plan was expected to require an investment of 700 million to 1 billion euros (US$952 million to US$1.36 billion).

EVN said its proposal is the first concrete result of a January cooperative hydro development agreement between Albania, Austria’s federal province of Lower Austria, and EVN.

Officials seek to develop hydropower among several options for increasing the amount of needed electricity in Albania. (HNN 1/22/07) Long-standing proposed hydro sites on the Devoll River include 80-MW Banja (or Banje), 115-MW Bratila (or Bratile), and 80-MW Upper Devoll.

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