Seoutheast Europe’s energy sector has been boosted by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Albania and Enel for the construction of a major new thermal power plant.

The agreement envisages the construction of a 1300 MW coal fired plant that will tackle the country’s growing demand for electricity as well as helping to balance its generation mix. The new plant will use imported coal and provide baseload power at a competitive cost.

Albania’s power sector is small but of strategic interest to Enel. Italy will be able to import power from the new plant when new interconnections are established between the two countries.

Albania and its neighbours are also potential transit routes for pipelines taking Russian and Caspian Sea oil and gas to Western Europe.

Enel CEO Fulvio Conti remarked: “Enel is very interested in the markets of south-eastern Europe, which have excellent prospects for growth and a need for new generation capacity. In this context, today’s MoU is very important thanks to Albania’s strategic position in the region and the strong institutional support for this international-calibre project of strategic interest for the country”.