Administrative Court Allows Valbona Hydropower Plant Construction

The Administrative Court in Tirana has allowed Gener 2 to continue its construction work on two hydropower plants in the Valbona valley, a protected natural park.

A group of inhabitants from the area in which the hydropower plants are being built, together with non-profit organization Toka filed a lawsuit against the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Tourism, the National Territorial Council, the National Environmental Agency, and the Territorial Development Agency. They plaintiffs claimed that the institutions didn’t take the necessary measures to implement the court decision of June 2017, which prohibited construction company Gener 2 from continuing construction work in Valbona.

The inhabitants also demanded that court annul the concession contract between Gener 2 and the Ministry of Energy, signed in 2009.

Both requests have now been denied by the court, after it postponed the judgment for unknown reasons for two days. According to environmentalist organization Qytetarët për Parkun, a former high police official, Erzen Breçani, had been hired as “bodyguard” of the Gener 2 representatives in an attempt to intimidate the plaintiffs and judges.

The construction work of Gener 2 threatens the livelihoods of many families in the Valbona valley, who largely depend on environmentally friendly tourism.