The order is worth approximately Euro100M (US$147M) and was placed by Energji Ashta Shpk, a subsidiary of Austrian utility Verbund. The project is being implemented by Verbund and EVN on a Build, Own and Transfer (BOT) procurement basis. Their 50:50 JV was awarded the 35-year concession almost a year ago.

Ashta is to be developed in two stages, each having 45 Hydromatrix turbine generators units, said andritz. While the total installed capacity has been noted at more than 50MW, in recent months Verbund said it would be 48MW.

The plant is being developed on the Drin river for completion in 2012, and the generating concept minimises the use of civil engineering structures. It will be the third facility in a three-plant cascade.

Official groundbreaking for the project was in May, and the total budget is approximately Euro160M (US$236M).