The United States will finance the construction of the Skavica hydropower plant in north-east of Albania.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama announced the news on Friday, during a joint press conference in Tirana with Kosovo’s Prime Minister of Avdullah Hoti, after a joint meeting of the two governments.
“Tomorrow we will sign an agreement for Skavica with the U.S. The Skavica hydropower plant will be financed by the USA,” Rama stated.
The terms of the financing commitment are unknown but the prime minister said it was done in appreciation of his government’s work in the country and beyond, citing President Trump’s recent letter to him.
In May, Rama had announced the HPP would be built with public money.
The Skavica hydropower plant is the country’s most strategic energy project, and Albania’s most important water reservoir, holding about 7 billion cubic meters. This makes it the largest reservoir in Europe.
The reservoir of Skavica is a significant national resource, being three times larger than the Fierza lake and twice as big as the entire Drin river cascade.
The government has opened several calls for bids for the construction of the Skavica HPP, but failed to finalize a tender contract and has been accused of clientelism and corruption.
Three project ideas existed for the Skavica HPP. The first two foresaw the construction of a single 450 or 350 MW capacity hydropower plant, and a reservoir approximately twice the size of Fierza or as big as Fierza. The first option would require an agreement with North Macedonia, as the planned reservoir would have to go over into North Macedonian territory. A third option would see the construction of two HPPs of a combined capacity below 200 MW and a relatively small reservoir that cannot carry out the Drin river cascade’s regulatory functions.
The government has yet to announce which project plan it will be going with.