The concession was awarded to the 50:50 venture by the Government of Albania, which launched the call for tenders in January. The 35-year period of the concession included the construction phase of the scheme, the country’s first large hydro scheme to be built with an international partner.

The generation units are to be a Straflo Matrix, which is made by Andritiz va-tech Hydro.

With a project budget of Euro160M (US$225M), the plant is scheduled to be commissioned in 2012. The run-of river plant is the last in a three-plant cascade on the Drin river and will exploit the head differences between the Spathara reservoir and Drin estuary in the Buna.

All of the electricity generated – about 230GWh per year – is to be supplied to state distributor Korporata Elektroenergjetike Shqiptare (Kesh) for the first 15 years of generation. The concession venture can then either extend the agreement or sell electricity on markets.

Separately in Albania, EVN has been in negotiations to build three peak-power plants of 400MW total installed capacity on the Devol river.