US engineer Bechtel will work alongside Albania’s state power corporation (KESH) on the early works for the 210MW Skavica hydroelectric plant on the Drin river.
The plant will allow Albania to achieve greater energy self-sufficiency.
Work on the development will begin with a technical investigation, preliminary road construction and an environmental and social assessment, which will advance the start of construction.
Andrew Patterson, Bechtel’s major project development manager, said: "We recognise 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.
"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 1,350MW.
"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."
Image: Valley of the Drin river (Daniel Turbasa/Dreamstime)