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European Bank funds Albania hydropower plant dam upgrade

CTBR Staff Writer Published 16 January 2013

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has provided a fund of €12.7m to upgrade the Komani hydropower plant dam in the north of Albania, as part of the dam safety programme implemented by the government along with international financial institutions.

The dam safety programme is estimated to be about €70m. More than 95% of the country's electricity is generated by five hydropower plants on the rivers of Drin and Matt.

However, as these plants were constructed more than 25 years ago, there are concerns with regard to dam safety and their ability to withstand extreme weather conditions.

The EBRD funds will support investments such as rockfall protection measures that will boost the Komani hydropower dam safety.

This project will also support the establishment of a modern water alarm system at the main alarm center in the capital city, Tirana, and at the hydropower plant.

EBRD Resident Office head Fabio Serri said that the project will bring the dam safety of one of the main hydropower plants in Albania up to modern standards. "We are coordinating this investment with other international financial institutions, so that dam safety needs throughout Albania are fully met," added Serri.

Earlier, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) funded a feasibility study to identify safety hazards and deficiencies at dams and to make urgent investments.