From: Alice Taylor
Fierza Hydropower Plant to Receive EUR 50 Million Cash Injection

The Fierza hydropower plant in the north of Albania is set to be reconstructed to increase output by at least 10% as a part of the EUR 50 million project.

The project focussing on Albania’s second-largest hydropower plant will also extend its life by 30 years. Initially built in 1980 with a capacity of 500MW, turbines one and three are set to be overhauled, and all generators reconstructed. The project is a part of the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans.

The agreement was signed by the Minister of Finance Delina Ibrahimaj and Ergys Versho, the administrator of the state-owned energy company OSHEE. They have also committed to loans and grants totalling EUR 50 million from German KfW Development Bank Brit Horschke.

German Ambassador Peter Zingraf said his country put up a EUR 40 million loan and a EUR 2 million grant through KfW for Fierza. They were complemented by a grant of EUR 8.35 million within the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).

According to KESH, the reservoir has a volume of 2.7 billion cubic metres and uses 2.3 billion.

Energy Minister Belinda Balluku said Fierza HPP provides 22% of the country’s electricity, but its current condition means a loss of around 4%.

Albania has been repeatedly warned that investing in hydropower is not short, medium, or long term sustainable due to climate change. Despite this, the government continues to invest in hydropower projects while failing to realise solar and wind potential.