Bechtel signs contract with Albanian Government for 210-MW Skavica hydro project

Skavica contract

Albania’s Power Corporation (KESH) and Bechtel signed an agreement to begin early works for the 210-MW Skavica hydro project on the Drin River under a fast-track delivery approach. This is a critically important hydropower plant that will play a significant role in Albania reaching its ambition of energy self-sufficiency, according to a press release.

Work will begin immediately with a technical investigation, preliminary construction roads and the environmental and social impact assessment to expedite the start of construction.

“Bechtel is delighted to be selected as a partner in the delivery of the Skavica Dam. We recognize that this is a nationally important project and we look forward to working with KESH as partner, and engaging local companies, supply chains and local people to achieve the immediate and long-term economic benefits which come with infrastructure of this size and scale,” said Andrew Patterson, Bechtel’s infrastructure global M&BD and major project development manager. “Skavica will be located upstream of the Drin cascade, which is home to four hydro power plants. The combination of these existing projects currently produces the largest energy production in the Balkans, with a combined power output of 1,350 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.”

“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%, while also optimizing and increasing their production capacities,” said Belinda Balluku, Albania Government’s Minister of Infrastructure and Energy. “Another important element of this project is the minimization of floods in the area of Nen Shkodra by optimizing the cascade and controlling all flow and discharges during rainfall from autumn to spring.”

Ergys Verdho, KESH chief executive officer general said: “The development of Skavica will reduce Albania’s annual electricity imports by an average of 55% annually, increasing the security of the country’s electricity supply.”

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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