Albanian dam could supplant Russian gas

By Mike Hayes05 April 2022

Albania is making preparations for the construction of a large dam on the Drin River in the north of the country, with the intention of boosting its energy security.

The Fierza hydroelectric power station on the Drin River in Albania. Photo: Reuters Connect

At an estimated cost of around €500 million, the proposed 210MW Skavica hydroelectric plant is expected to produce approximately 20% of Albania’s domestic energy production, following a five-year construction period.

Skavica will also optimise energy production at other dams, which currently supply 1,350MW of electricity. Currently, all of the energy produced in Albania comes from renewable sources, primarily hydroelectric.

Following three years of unusually dry weather, however, the average cost per MW of electricity has risen in the country from around €52.20 to over €550.

Energy security

Accelerated by a clear intention of reducing Russian gas imports, the dam project will be the largest undertaken in the country since the fall of communism in 1991.

US-based construction firm Bechtel – part of the consortium that constructed the Hoover Dam in the 1930s – has been contracted by the Albanian government to carry out initial feasibility studies for the dam.

Entela Ruci, Balkan business development manager at Bechtel, said, “The Hoover Dam was transformational in its day. Skavica is on the same scale; it will create by far the largest source of clean energy in the Balkans.”

Albania’s minister for energy and infrastructure, Belinda Balluku, said, “Skavica is the most challenging and most wonderful project that we have to create independence from imports.

“We aim to create energy security and less dependency on Russian gas or other sources. The aim is to turn Albania from an importer into an exporter.”

MAGAZINE
NEWSLETTER
Delivered directly to your inbox, Construction Europe Newsletter features the pick of the breaking news stories, product launches, show reports and more from KHL's world-class editorial team.
More News from Construction Europe
JCB introduces smallest Loadall
The new telehandler has a cab height of 1.8m and a width of 1.56m.
Low risk markets pay big for Webuild
Contractor reports new project orders in Europe, Australia and North America worth US$13.6 billion
Redcar steelworks furnace demolished
VIDEO: Watch Thompsons of Prudhoe bring down 365 ft tall structure via a controlled explosion
CONNECT WITH THE TEAM
Mike Hayes Editor, Construction Europe Tel: +44 (0)1892 786 231 E-mail: mike.hayes@khl.com
Simon Kelly Sales Manager Tel: +44 (0) 1892 786 223 E-mail: simon.kelly@khl.com
CONNECT WITH SOCIAL MEDIA